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Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi
Translated by: Mawlana Muhammad Kadwa
AUTHOR’S FOREWORD .........................................................................................4 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................5
PART ONE: THE ERA OF THE MESSENGER (pbuh)
The Primary Reason: VARYING COMMANDS FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND CIRCUMSTANCES...........................................................................................6 Reason 2: A SPECIAL CASE IS TAKEN AS A GENERAL ORDER.....................9 Reason 3: A GENERAL ORDER IS TAKEN AS A SPECIAL CASE...................10 Reason 4: A DIFFERENCE OF PERCEPTION .....................................................11 Reason 5: INTENTIONAL ACTION VS COINCIDENCE ....................................12 Reason 6: UNDERLYING CAUSES ........................................................................13 Reason 7: WORDS HAVE MULTIPLE MEANINGS ...........................................14 Reason 8: DIFFERENT TYPES OF INJUNCTIONS............................................16 Reason 9: AN INJUNCTION TO SHARPEN THE MIND ...................................17 Reason 10: AFFECTIONATE INJUNCTIONS VS CAUTIONARY INJUNCTIONS .........................................................................................................17 Compelling Interpretations ......................................................................................19 TWO CATEGORIES OF LAWS..............................................................................19 FUNDAMENTAL AND SUBSIDIARY DIFFERENCES ......................................................21 DIFFERENCES: A SOURCE OF MERCY........................................................................21 Prejudice toward any School...................................................................................21
PART TWO: THE ERA OF THE COMPANIONS & THE FOLLOWERS
Reason 1: Narration by Meaning ...........................................................................23 The Difficulty of Narrating by Memory ....................................................................24 Reason 2: ABROGATION .........................................................................................25 Reason 3: THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN ERROR ................................................26 Reason 4: LOVE FOR ALLAH’S MESSENGER (PBUH)....................................28 The Advice of Imam Bukhari to the Seeker of Hadith ..........................................29
-3Reason 5: EXCESSIVE LINKS BETWEEN NARRATORS.................................33 Reason 6: WEAK NARRATORS..............................................................................34 Reason 7: FABRCATION OF HADITHS................................................................35 Reason 8: TAMPERING WITH SOUND NARRATIONS. ..................................37 Weak Hadiths in the Later Generations ..................................................................38 SUMMARY OF THE DIFFERENCES IN THE SECOND ERA............................................38
PART THREE: THE ERA OF MUJTAHID IMAMS & SOME PRINCIPLES OF HADITH AND JURISPRUDENCE
THE MAIN REASON FOR THE DIFFEENCES BETWEEN THE IMAMS....39 Some Principles of Hadith ....................................................................................39 TYPES OF HADITHS ..............................................................................................39 THE BASIS OF REJECTION AND PREFERENCE............................................40 ASSESSMENT OF A NARRATOR.........................................................................41 THE INDISPNSABILITY OF THE PRINCIPLES OP HADITHS....................43 Some Principles of Fiqh: PRINCIPLES OF THE JURISTS FOR THE VALIDITY OF HADITHS ............................................................................................................43 THE MOST BASIC REASON FOR DIFFERENCES...........................................45 The Four Schools of Fiqh: THE OPINIONS OF THE IMAMS ARE ALL FROM THE HADTHS...........................................................................................................46 Examples of the Multi -Faceted Methods of Inference........................................46 The Parable of the Imams of Hadith........................................................................49 INFERENCE IN OUR TIMES ................................................................................50 THE APPROACH OF THE HANAFI SCHOOL OF THOUGHT.......................52 EPILOGUE ................................................................................................................53 ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...........................................................................................54 REFERENCES: .........................................................................................................59
My success is only from Allah. upon Him do I place my trust. and to Him do I turn. and the upholders of the true faith. Despite the barrage of engagements. So. now there remains no hope whatsoever of fulfilling this ambition. Lahore. in spite of my inefficiency and incapability.-4- AUTHOR’S FOREWORD We praise Allah and send blessings upon His noble Messenger (PBUH) and upon His Messenger’s family. his Companions. Since (I felt) the subject matter was deficient. . Excessive ailments have rendered me totally helpless and here I am sitting on the edge of the grave. his followers. the said magazine terminated publication after about fourteen months. May Allah Most High grant blessing [baraka] in this. (following my permission). may He benefit the people from it. To proceed. and may He bless Mawlana Shahid with success in this world as well as the next. in Ramadan 1346 AH. Consequently. Amin. a monthly digest entitled “Al-Mazahir” was launched by Madrasa Mazahir ‘Ulüm (Saharanpur) under the editorship of my dear friend respected Mawlana Jalil. due to certain circumstances. Many friends and editors of other magazines strongly insisted I complete this series but to no avail. I continued writing a few pages each month for this magazine. However. I had planned to publish it once some more (material) was added so it. the book could not reach completion. However. who at that time was a teacher at the above-mentioned institute and is presently the Mufti of Jami'a Ashrafiyya. At the insistence of Mawlana Jalil. at the termination of this magazine. Mawlana Muhammad Shahid and other sincere friends insisted that whatever had been compiled is not devoid of benefit. However. my humble articles also came to an end. some friends insisted I publish whatever had been completed as part one of this book. I was able to write for the first magazine simply because the editor Mawlana Jalil was a teacher at the madrasa and he was always around to ask me to write. My initial intention was to compile a detailed and comprehensive book on this subject but my various academic [‘ilmi] as well as literary [ta'lifi] engagements precluded the realization of this intention. I started writing articles for this monthly digest on the topic of “The Differences of the Imams” [Ikhtilaf al-a’imma]. Mawlana Muhammad Shahid decided to print whatever has been compiled. in spite of my own desire and the insistence of my colleagues. At that time.
In zakat.-5- INTRODUCTION All praise is due to Allah and peace and salutations upon the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh). There is obviously no doubt about the importance of this issue. The second stage deals with the contradictions found in the athar. I present my disordered work. nor do they give anyone the right to cast aspersions on the Companions [sahaba]. Therefore. . the apparent contradictions between the recognized opinions of the various Imams. in other words. so much so that even if they wish to disentangle themselves from this vicious web just out of good thought for the Imams. The first involves contradictory narrations [riwayat]. The first group is haplessly trapped in their evil thoughts of the Imams. there is inevitably some difference or other which has led to people debating with one another. sawm. I would have preferred to see the topic addressed by someone much more capable than myself. Amin. It has become necessary to expose the basis of the differences (of opinion) found among the Imams. which later became the established views of their followers. However. the mere translation of the hadiths is bound to lead to objections and misgivings. but the insistence of the people of Mazahir ‘Ulüm compelled me to put pen to paper. the Followers [tabi'in] or the Imams (may Allah have mercy on them). the apparent contradictions between the words and deeds of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). I pray that my writing does not merely add to the confusion rather than clarifying the master. Nevertheless. why are there differences of opinion among them? The numerous sessions of debates and the excessive number of publications on the issues of controversy have rendered the problem even more menacing. While acknowledging my incompetence. they have started harboring insolent thoughts about the Messenger of Allah himself. and so forth. simply because of the apparently contradictory hadiths transmitted from him. The wudu' of one group is considered invalid by the other while the salat of one group is considered void by the other. May Allah protect us. In the absence of these prerequisites. dating back to the first epoch of Islam. will be expounded upon to demonstrate that the apparently contradictory texts of the hadiths leave no scope for doubting the Messenger of Allah. The reasons for these differences. they are unable to free themselves from this trap because they are further ensnared by the apparent disparity between the sayings of the Imams and some of the clear source texts. Any slanderous remark cast against them is a sure sign of the deprivation of Allah's mercy [hirman]. The repercussions of these differences have reached such proportions that people have split up into various sects grappling and contending with one another. has gone even further and. I had excused myself from this mammoth task. The third stage encompasses the differences found among the schools of thought [madhahib] in other words. The issue has reached such dire proportions that those who object (to why she Imams have differed) have split into two groups. the fault lies in referring to (English or) Urdu translations of the hadiths. one has to posses the intellectual capacity to comprehend the hadiths together with a proper understanding of the background and the prelude of the hadiths. let alone the Imams. The fact is that all the Imams [mujtahidin] were leaders of the correct path and they encouraged and guided the masses toward the correct path as well. meaning the apparent contradictions between the words and actions of the Companions [sahaba] and Followers [tabi'in]. The differences among the Imams are divided into three stages. since the Imams (of various schools) have established everything from the sayings and practices of the Messenger of Allah . The second group. on the other hand. For some time now people have been occupied with the question that. because in order to get a clear picture of the meaning. hajj and virtually every other act of worship ['ibada] as well.
I will base my writings according to the same order as well. And from Allah do we seek divine guidance. declared “We will not allow them to attend salat at the masjid. it was considered rude and such a person would be admonished for his impudence. I consider it necessary to write briefly on each of these stages. PART ONE THE ERA OF THE MESSENGER (PBUH) The Primary Reason VARYING COMMANDS FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND CIRCUMSTANCES During the time of the Messenger of Allah. the Messenger of Allah used to inform the people verbally and demonstrate it practically Once the verses of wudu' [ablution] were revealed he showed his community how to perform wudu'. considering the prevalent conditions (of his time). There were no distinctions whatsoever between a certain act being fard or wajib. conditions and interdictions of the laws [ahkam] and rulings [masa’iI] were not recorded separately. Abdullah ibn ‘Umar once narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. When the verses of salat were revealed. Even the Companions refrained from digressing into possibilities and rationalities. There were no comprehensive books of Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh] available and in-depth compilations on specialized subjects.-6- Since these differences have occurred at three stages. Also. or a certain posture being a sunna or integral [rukn].” Since this statement was in apparent contrast to the hadith of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . The Messenger’s demonstration left no complexities or uncertainties. The fundamentals.” One of Ibn ‘Umar’s sons. 'A person should not prevent his wife attending the masjid if she wishes to perform bsalat therein. If someone had to finely examine or challenge laws. Ibn ‘Umar found it extremely offensive and not only . the present-day system of imparting Islamic law was not in operation. since the second and third stages of these differences are actually an offshoot of the first stage. etiquette. etc. The only method of imparting Islamic rulings was that whenever a command was revealed. the Angel Jibra’il actually demonstrated the correct procedure of salat before the Messenger of Allah and he in turn taught the Umma how to perform salat.
Imam Muslim narrates on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that a blind Companion [sahabi] once approached Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and submitted: “I did not have anyone to guide me to the masjid. he refrained from speaking to him right until his death.’ The Messenger of Allah granted him permission. Conversely in the case of ’Itbãn ibn Malik. ‘Umar invoked the curse of Allah on a person who posed hypothetical questions. he was declined permission. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) accepted his excuse of blindness and exempted him from attending the congregational salat.” Saying this. if a certain act is omitted in wudu’ or something additional is done. However. A few examples are listed below which demonstrate this fact even more explicitly. Once. Abü Bakr gave his entire wealth in charity and Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) accepted it.” . However. The Companions used to detest questions based on mere assumption: questions such as. once on a journey Ziyad ibn Hárith al-Suda’i called out the adhan and Bilal was about to call out the iqama when the Messenger of Allah said. has the right to call out the iqama as well. The reason for his unwavering answer was simply to draw attention to the fact that those who sincerely wish to practice Islam will not delve into any intricacies. when another Companion sought permission to do the same. who had heard the words of the call to prayer 5 (adhan] in a dream to make the call to commence [iqama] inspite of Bilãl calling out the adhan. The one who was permitted was an old man while the other Companion was a 7 young man. The Companions would only ask the Messenger of Allah about issues (masa'il) which occurred in reality.. what is the ruling?” Ibn ‘lJmar says that. when certain other Companions decided to give their entire wealth in charity Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not accept it. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would then issue a verdict according to the circumstances and conditions of the questioner. its obligation [wujub] is self-evident. If Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and his Companions consistently carried out a certain action. However. 4 Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) had permitted ‘Abdullãh ibn Zayd. Abu Hurayra said. “Whosoever calls out the adhan. In short. the Messenger (PBUH) withdrew his permission and ordered the man to 3 join the congregational salat in the masjid. Similarly. 6 he restrained Bilal from calling out the iqama. when he learnt that this Companion lived in close proximity to the masjid and he was able to hear the adhan. These are not isolated incidents. please excuse my absence from the masjid for the congregational salat and permit me to perform my salat at home.-71 did he admonish his son. There are thousands of such incidents. However. He responded: “‘The Messenger of Allah as well as the Companions [sahaba] always performed the witr salat. which clearly demonstrate that the Messenger of Allah issued varying orders for different people. but according to the narration of Musnad Ahmad. “I immediately understood the reason for the disparity between the two. The Messenger (PBUH) granted him permission. Differences and contradictory narrations are quite obviously destined to follow from this. Ibn ‘Umar was once asked if witr salat was wajib or sunna. “The questioner continued asking the same 2 question repeatedly and Ibn ‘Umar continued to provide the same answer. the laws of Islam used to be taught in a practical manner according to the need of the occasion. Abu Hurayra narrates that a person once asked Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) if he was permitted to hug and kiss his wife while fasting.
“On the sixteenth of Ramadan we set out for a battle in the company of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). these was a fear of them exceeding even the boundaries of lamentation if they gave away all of their wealth in charity. The person who was granted permission to kiss his wife while fasting will obviously narrate that hugging and kissing does not nullify the fast. the exempted [ma'dhur] as well as the healthy. two large groups became narrators of two totally conflicting rulings. there were always groups of students. each narrator will narrate what he heard directly from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). “You are at liberty to fast or to abstain from fasting.” However. In fact. he would become ever more engrossed in turning his attention toward Allah and totally at ease with the fate issued by Him. ‘Abd aI-Rahmãn lbn ‘Awf narrates that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. This apparent contradiction between the two narrations is not only confined to two isolated narrators. enquirers. delegates. it is most appropriate for him to fast in the holy month of Ramadan. Any number of conflicting narrations falling under this fundamental rule will still be considered negligible because every gathering consisted of various people. On the other hand. Due to such differences. Notwithstanding this. he prohibited them from doing so. he is not permitted to last. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) replied. However. the disparity of narrations stems from the disparity of conditions. devoted followers. while others decided sane to fast. Some of our friends observed the fasts of Ramadan. one hadith even refers to those who fast when traveling are sinners. You may do as you please. Jabir narrates that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. This is the reason for the apparent contradiction. thereby forfeiting the great virtues of this month. Those fasting did not accuse chose abstaining nor did the latter challenge the former. if a person is extremely weak and fasting while traveling will most probably be detrimental to him. The Law took into consideration the health of one and the weakness of the other. In fact. One of the people in the gathering was so strong-hearted that even if he gave all his wealth in charity. As evident from the aforementioned incidents.-8- In cases like the above-mentioned incident. the Messenger of Allah (sometimes) issued two utterly different orders for different individuals. “There is no good in fasting while traveling” In fact. “The one who fasts while traveling is like a person who breaks his fast while at home. On the other hand. there was no fear of him ever complaining. A Sa’id al-Khudri narrates. the other person will narrate his hadith in direct contrast to this and will vehemently deny the permissibility of kissing and hugging while fasting. The group that was present when the first order was given will obviously differ from the group that was present when the second order was issued. since he was in a habit of fasting excessively it would be permissible for him to fast while traveling. the able-bodied as well as the weak. each group had no objection against the other. and others in the presence of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) who would have heard these exchanges and related them according to their own understanding. For this reason. Similarly. 11 10 9 . Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was quite confident that no matter what calamity afflicted that particular person. there were other personalities in the gathering upon whom he did not have such confidence.” In short. the two groups who heard two conflicting laws would narrate only what they heard from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). for a traveler who is quite strong and able.” 8 Hamza ibn ‘Amr Aslami narrates that he once asked the Messenger of Allah whether. Hence. As a result. the hadiths narrating laws pertinent to fasting while traveling are sure to differ as well. He should not postpone the fast when traveling. However. visitors.
a few testimonial incidents proving this fact were provided merely to drive the point home. the Followers [tabi'in]. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) brought the sermon to a halt and remained standing to enable this Companion to complete his salat. they also witnessed this special concession awarded to this particular Companion in that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered him to perform supererogatory [nafl] salat while the sermon was in progress. one hadith makes mention of a very poor Companion named Sulayk al-Ghatafani who entered the masjid while the khutba was in progress. some people who were present in both gatherings. the Messenger of Allah issued an exclusive order for a particular person due to some special reason. Apparent Contradictions in the Hadiths Allow me to point out at this juncture that we do not wish to elaborate on the category of this hadith. they started narrating it as a general rule. the salat for greeting the masjid [tahiyyat al-masjid] is prohibited while the Friday sermon [khutba] is in progress. lbn ‘lJmar narrates that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. Following such diverging narrations.-9- There could have been. As explained above. Abu Hurayra provided the conflicting narrations about kissing and hugging while fasting. and the audience [majlis] was led to believe that it was a general order and not a restricted order. according to 'A’isha. in fact there were. and it is not our purpose to do so here. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) made this statement in regard to a Jewish woman whose household was crying over her. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered the Companion to perform tahiyyat al-masjid so that the people could witness his poverty and constrained circumstances. According certain narrations.” ‘A’isha rejected this interpretation. Reason 2 A SPECIAL CASE IS TAKEN AS A GENERAL ORDER The second reason for contradictory narrations is that at times. Together with this. According to her. which cannot be contained here wholly. 13 12 . He narrated the reason for the disparity as well. For example. the responsibility now falls upon the Companions [sahaba]. nor do we wish to comment on it. There are thousands of other similar incidents. However. nor do we wish to ascertain whether ‘A’isha’s hadith or lbn Umar’s hadith is given preference. Thus. occasion and correct juncture of each narration. according to the Hanafi school of thought. Even though the aforementioned fact (regarding she difference of narrations) is quite evident. For example. and they were most certainly compelled to ponder over the disparity between the rulings and reach a decision whereby both rulings are taken into account. ‘The deceased is punished due to the crying of his house folk. All we wish to clarify here is that such degrees of disparity and contradiction exist in the field of hadith study. and the mujtahid Imams to determine the source. and they should interpret each narration according to the demands of the occasion.
Abu Hurayra replied. we are confident that this rule was specifically confined 15 to Sãlim only. ‘Umar would have cautioned me with his whip. “He is a bearded adult. Abu Hudhayfas face thereafter. “O Messenger of Allah.” He said. I fear that if I had to narrate.. but the practice of certain Companions impede me from doing So.e. In other words. the wife of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . comes before me. ‘A’isha. and as an all-encompassing principle they narrate that a person who enters the masjid while the Friday sermon is in progress should perform two rak’ats [units] of tahiyyat al-masjid. I know so many Hadiths that I can narrate rather extensively if I want to. then the narration of the hadiths would bewilder me just as they were left bewildered. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) mentioned something as an all-encompassing rule. However. “If I were narrating (then) like I am doing now.10 On the basis of this narration. They (i.” On the basis of this narration. The examples have been explained above. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) issued a special command confined to one person only. considered this a general rule while the other wives of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) rejected this opinion. our freed slave. the second reason for the apparent contradictions in the narrations is that at times. let me draw your attention to the fact that this was only an oversight on their part and they had no 16 intention of committing these blunders. those Companions) heard many hadiths from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) like I did." It was for the same reason that ‘Umar prohibited the people from excessive narration during his caliphate [khilafa].” Ibn Qutayba narrates in his book Ta’wil mukhtalaf al-hadith that ‘Imran ibn Husayn says. However. .” She replied. the slave of Abu Hudhayfa is also a similar nature. but some of them have committed many inaccuracies while narrating. You will not perceive any displeasure on. In fact.” Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) advised: “Breastfeed him. Umm Salama. ‘A’isha narrates that Sahla bint Suhayl came to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and submitted. “Go ahead and 14 breastfeed him. I perceive a feeling of displeasure on (my husband) Abu Hudhayfa’s face whenever Sãlim. many people considered this action as a general ruling. and they remained in his service like I did.” In short. “By Allah. but a narrator narrated it as a general rule. The story of suckling Salim. Abu Salama asked Abu Hurayra if he used to narrate as abundantly during the time of ‘Umar as he did in later times. comments on this: “We are not aware of the actual reason for this command. Reason 3 A GENERAL ORDER IS TAKEN AS A SPECIAL CASE The third reason for the apparent contradictions between narrations is the opposite of the second reason. he even prevented some of the very senior Companions from excessive narrations of the hadiths. but the narrator confined it to specific individuals only.
Some people heard it and I retained it from him. asked ‘Abdullah bin Abbas to explain these contradictions. when he finished his two rak'ats. Some of the witnesses were very discerning. he raised his voice saying 'labbayk' for hajj. and what the reasons for rendering something permissible for one and impermissible for the other. there is no contradiction between the narrations since it's permissible for one performing qiran hajj to say “Labbayk bi hajjatin" (as Allah’s Messenger had uttered). one of the narrators says that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) made an ifrad hajj because he heard the Messenger (PBUH) saying “Labbayk bi hajjatin" or "I have presented -myself in Your service to perform the hajj. Ibn ‘Umar narrated this as general rule. a great need is felt for the mujtahids who are aware of all the various types of narrations. However. However. Hence. Prompted by these very same contradictory narrations. From these narrations they are able to deduce which rules are of general applications. This narration apparently seems contradictory to the first. other people narrate that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) performed a qiran hajj.” There are conflicting narrations as to exactly when Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) started his ihram. but they had very retentive memories. At the same meeting.11 One example is the narration of Ibn ‘Umar regarding the punishment of the deceased. They were able to understand every incident according. When he offered two rak'ats of prayer in the mosque at Dhu al-Hulayfah. which are special. Imam Abu Dawud (may Allah have mercy on him) transmits this narration in complete detail as follows: Sa'id ibn Jubayr said: I said to Abdullah ibn Abbas: Abul Abbas. the Imams have also differed as so when it is most virtuous for one to initiate one’s ihram.” The narration itself is authentic and the narrator is not guilty of any deficiency. an outstanding Follower [tabi’in]. For example. They narrated certain events according to the way they understood them. The Messenger of Allah came out (from Medina) with the intention of performing hajj. Hence the people differed among themselves. with him . ‘A’isha said that this applied only to a particular incident of a Jewish woman who was being mourned by her family. He replied: I am aware of it more than the people. to the occasion. Similarly the hadith dealing with the Messenger’s commencement of his ihram or “pilgrim sanctity. He then rode (on the she-camel). Only a mujtahid is able to bring about some harmony between the apparently contradictory narrations and avoid undue confusion. Many examples of this can be found in the hadiths dealing with the pilgrimage (hajj). and when it (the she-camel) stood up. I am surprised to see the difference of opinion amongst the companions of the Messenger (PBUH) about the wearing of ihram by the Messenger of Allah when he made it obligatory. Due to this. Reason 4 A DIFFERENCE OF PERCEPTION Quite often. he made it obligatory by wearing it. some of them were not as discerning. The beholders of any deed are obviously of diverse perception. for the revision of such narrations. there are apparent contradictions in the narrations simply various people saw Allah's Messenger (PBUH) doing a certain thing and they all narrated according to their own understanding of things.. Sa’id ibn Jubayr . because the qiran hajj is very different from the ifrad hajj. The Messenger of Allah performed only one hajj. In actual fact though. On the other hand.
who writes that a non-mujtahid has no retreat or option but to follow a mujtahid (Isha’at al-sunna II:2II). and he raised his 17 voice saying 'labbayk' when he ascended the height of al-Bayda'. There are many examples of this nature in the books of hadith. it facilitated easy departure toward Madina 19 Munawwara. Mawlãna (Rashid Ahmad) Gangohi (may Allah be pleased with him) quotes an extract from the Isha'at al-sunna by Mawlana Muhammad Husayn Batãlwi. the unfortunate person will be left perturbed and dumbfounded. For example. so he confidently explained exactly what happened. if an ordinary layman is confronted with all these apparently contradictory narrations. Some of them convert to Christianity while some of them become atheists. The Messenger of Allah proceeded further. Others considered it intentional and willful. have no retreat but to make taqlid (i. when he ascended the height of al-Bayda' he raised his voice saying 'labbayk'. Plus.e. he raised his voice saying 'labbayk' and some people heard it at that moment. he also explained the reasons for the differences of narrations and at the same time he brought about harmony between all the narrations. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbbs was fully aware of what transpired. on the occasion of the farewell pilgrimage. this stay over at Abtah was coincidental and it had nothing to do with the devotions of hajj. They thought that he had raised his voice saying 'labbayk' when he ascended the height of al-Bayda'. Some people heard it at that moment. and they thought that the Messenger of Allah had raised his voice saying 'labbayk' when his she-camel stood up with him on its back. At the end of it all. even the people who do not adhere to any madhhab [ghayr muqallidin]. I swear by Allah. The most insignificant outcome of this freedom is flagrant violation of Islamic law (ibid II:53). a leader of those who do not follow a traditional school in jurisprudence. Some of them considered it coincidental and treated it as a natural and habitual activity of his. Objections and various complications are thereafter bound to follow. In his book. this lodging was 18 included in the devotions of hajj and it is sunna for a pilgrim to camp at Abtah. totally relinquish following a school altogether [taqlid] eventually relinquish Islam altogether. The servants pitched his tent at that spot: that is why he camped there. in spite of their vehemence and prejudice. Reason 5 INTENTIONAL ACTION VS COINCIDENCE At times many groups of people witnessed the Messenger of Allah doing something.. Since he was a jurist [faqih] as well as a mujtahid. Since Sa’id ibn Jubayr heard various contradictory accounts of this hajj he felt he should delve deeper into the true account of what exactly took place. Mawlana Batalwi further writes: 'After twenty-five years of experience.12 on its back. and he raised his voice saying 'labbayk' when his she-camel stood up with him on its back. out of ignorance. In contrast. However. . it is an accepted fact that the Messenger of Allah camped at a place called Abtah. According to Abu Hurayra and ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar. he raised his voice saying 'labbayk' at the place where he prayed. This is because the people were coming in groups. resort to a school of thought [madhhab]). thereby narrating it as a sunna or mustahab (preferred) action. according to ‘A’isha and ‘Abbas. so they heard him raising his voice calling saying 'labbayk' when his she-camel stood up with him on its back. we have become aware of the fact that those who. Sabil al Rashad.
The narrators who consider this to be the underlying principle of the hadith do not even mention the word ‘disbeliever' in their narrations. as this is a form of humiliation to them. if other reasons are found—for example. due to the presence of the angels. If this is the reason for his standing up. For example.” ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar says. He immediately stood up.” Rafi' ibn Khadij was then asked.. 20 Reason 6 UNDERLYING CAUSES At times. if 25 the land owner lets his land on a specified rental?” He replied. 23 Obedience to Allah and His Messenger precedes all benefits. If this is the case. However if we learn from other narrations that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) stoop up so that the bier would not pass above the heads of the Muslims. he got up in honor of the angels accompanying the bier. “We used to hire our plots on a temporary sharecropping basis and regarded his beneficial and permissible. “We used to hire out our lands on the basis of temporary sharecropping [muzara'a]. Together with this objective. However. contradictions appear due to the contradictory underlying reasons found in the hadiths. “That is quite in order. Rifi’ ibn Khadij says. Rafi’ ibn Khadij says. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) prohibited them from this. They do not consider it necessary because it is immaterial whether the bier is that or a disbeliever. Similar is the case of another hadith. “I told Tawüs to desist from hiring out his land on the basis of sharecropping because the Companions prohibited people from doing this.13 This is where the services of a mujtahid or a jurist [faqih] are required to sift through the various narrations and views of the Companions and award preference to one opinion over the other. Hence. it is mentioned in a hadith that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was once seated when the bier [janaza] of a disbeliever 21 passed by. we abandoned this practice. in this case. Upon this Tawus replied. there is even more reason for the people to stand for the passing of a Muslim bier. According to some narrations. the word “disbeliever” must be mentioned in the hadith by the narrator. then the practice of standing up for janaza will be restricted to the bier of a disbeliever only. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas informed me that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not actually 22 . ‘My uncle and other family members used to hire out their lands on a temporary sharecropping basis. The land owner and the farmer would agree that the crop which will grow around the water supply drains or any other pre-specified area will belong to the land owner while the remainder will belong to the farmer. The Imams have done accordingly on the basis of the following hadith: "We will camp at Khayf Bani Kinana where the polytheists had vowed to oppose Islam.” In contrast to these narrations. ‘Amr ibn Dinar relates.” The Imams are of the view that this lodging was not coincidental but intentional. since Rifi’ ibn 24 Khadij informed us that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) prohibited it. In another narration. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) intended to demonstrate the magnificence of Islam at the very spot where the disbelievers displayed their rejection [kufr] of Islam. he camped there to facilitate easy departure this does not mean that his stay at Abtah was not intentional. 'The most learned of the Companions. This was very beneficial to us but Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) prohibited us from it.
We do not wish to encompass them all. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) used to say something using a particular word in one context. There are many other examples of this nature in the books of hadith. This can only be carried out by a person who knows many hadiths on a given subject and who also knows the actual texts of the various hadiths. Hence. according to Ibn ‘Abbas. is bound to grant preference to one of the narrations only and attempt to reinterpret the other. He thereafter addressed me. we consequently have two apparently conflicting hadiths. the word wudü’ unanimously refers to the washing of the hands. 'Wudu' before as well as after the meal is a source of blessing in ones food. the narrators differ in the underlying cause for the injunction expressed in a particular hadith. there is a lengthy hadith narrated by ‘Ikräsh in Sunan al-Tirmidhi. Each narrator will narrate the hadith according to his own understanding of it.. literally. nor is it our objective to do so. we can still establish that the word wudu’ is not used in its technical sense but in its literal sense.14 prohibit this practice altogether What he actually meant was that it is better for a person to lend his plot of land to 26 his Muslim brother for purposes of cultivation instead of letting it to him in exchange of something.” In Salman’s statement as well as the statement Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . This prohibition was not a juridical injunction. ‘O ‘Ikrãsh. but thousands of instances of this nature. a person who only knows the translation of one hadith on a particular topic. the underlying cause of this ban was to demonstrate its prohibition and nothing else. . Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) added.. Salman once told Allah's Messenger (PBUH) that according to the Torah. purity. In a narration of the Shama’il of Imam Tirmidhi. water was brought before Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). while some of the Companions considered the usage in a different context. and washing of the hands. one who is confronted with both hadiths and is cognizant of the principles of hadith." In spite of this narration being somewhat disputed [mutakallam fih]. the word wudu' is quite common in its technical sense (of ablution before prayer). and is not aware of the principles of awarding preference to some hadiths over others: will he ever be able to understand which is awarded preference over the other and why? Reason 7 WORDS HAVE MULTIPLE MEANINGS One of other reasons for the apparent contradictions in the hadiths is that there are many words that are sometimes used in the literal sense and at other times in the technical or figurative sense. wudu’ after meals brings about blessings [baraka] in one’s food. To give one example. “After partaking of this meal. the underlying cause for the prohibition was merely to ensure that people maintain good conduct with their fellow Muslim brothers. Nevertheless. has no knowledge of a contrary hadith. On the other hand. There are not a few. However. the injunction of making 27 wudu’ after partaking of something cooked over the fire refers to this (form of) wudu'. etc." So. In short. However. the word wudu' means cleanliness. At the end of the hadith he says. In addition. He washed his hands and thereafter rubbed them over his face and arms. according to Rafi’ ibn Khadij.
Thereafter. My aim in presenting these examples is to show that the word “wudu’” and other words have been utilized in their literal as well as their technical sense. Therefore. if the word wudu’ is not intended in its technical sense but in its literal sense.” Therefore. . in books of hadith commentary). initially. According to some of them. and they 29 will most probably add an explanation like “wudü’ such as wudü’ for salat.. according to other Companions and jurists. Others say that the word “touch” refers to passing urine. it is narrated in Jam’ al-Fawa'id on the authority of Bazzar that Mu’adh was asked. since there were relatively very few narrations supporting its nullification in the latter times. On the other hand. wudu’ is compulsory [wajib]. Differences among the Companions [sahaba] and Followers [tabi'in] will consequently bring about differences among the jurists [fuqaha] as well. they have differed the meaning of the word “touch” in the aforementioned hadith.This will be explained in further detail in the next chapter. However. certain narrators will consider the word wudu’ in a certain hadith in its technical sense. Followers. dog or donkey passes in front of a person performing salat” Some jurists take this hadith literally. Similarly they have differed on the status of the wudu’ demanded by this hadith. “‘This is the wudu’ of one whose wudu’ is still intact. This is why. while others regard this wudu’ as preferable [mustahab]. These are just a few examples where the word “wudu’” is not used in its technical sense. Quite frequently. etc. “The salat is broken if a woman. From this. just washing the hands and mouth). “Do you perform wudu’ after partaking of something cooked over the fire?” He replied. while some of them assert that it refers to the literal meaning of the word. all four of the Imams have unanimously agreed that the narrations which mention (the obligation of performing) wudu’ after eating something cooked over the fire refers to wudu’ in its literal sense (i. on one occasion. They are explained in their respective places (i. because one normally touches one’s private part to cleanse it after urinating. There are not one or two. We have omitted them here for the sake of brevity. According to some of the jurists. ‘Ali washed a few parts (of those normally washed during wudü’) of his body.e. the issue of whether touching private parts nullifies the wudü’ or not. However. There are many other issues on which the Imams ['ulama’] and their followers disagree. Likewise. It is now clear that differences among the narrations are bound to occur. one can understand the principle cause of differences as well.e. The Companions. According to them. the hadith is referring to wudu' in its technical sense. To them. the breaking of the salat refers to the breaking of one’s concentration in the salat. but scores of facts that affirm this second meaning. 'whosoever touches his private parts should perform wudu’”. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. there were differences over whether or not the consumption of anything cooked over the fire nullifies the ablution [wudu']. Similarly. all four Imams unanimously agreed that the ablution would not be nullified by eating something cooked over a fire. he commenced. there is no relationship between the breaking of the salat and the passing of one of these three. it cannot be in taken in its literal sense. Some of them say that the word “touch” refers to its literal meaning. This is explained in order to avoid confusion. dog or donkey passes in front of one who is praying. Otherwise such an injunction could have been abrogated. Of similar nature is a hadith in which Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) says. a narrator will most probably explain that it refers to the washing of the mouth and hands. the salat is technically nullified if a woman. “We wash our hands and mouth after meals 28 and interpret it as wudu” For this reason. and the Imams have all differed as to the type of wudu' required. washing only a few parts of the body is not referred to as wudu’ in the technical sense.15 Similarly. One example is.” This is to ensure that no doubt remains and those listening are not left in any confusion.
when Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) issued a certain command. In every language we find that there are various types of injunctions. hadith. all the Imams have differentiated between all of these apparently contradictory narrations. Similarly the Imams have differed as to whether the injunctions pertaining to the takbir of salat or the injunction regarding the tasbih of ruku' and sujud. ‘This matter can only be reconciled by a jurist [faqih] or mujtahid because wherever there is a single command. they applied every injunction to the correct occasion. some people regard this as compulsory [wajib]. An example of this is the hadith which commands us to put water into the nostrils while performing wudu'. optional or permissible. If one hadith makes mention of reciting the “tashahhud" [prayer recited in the sitting posture of salat] while sitting. etc. Taking the obvious and apparent meaning into account. However. "Kill the snake and scorpion (if they appear before you) while performing salat".16 Reason 8 DIFFERENT TYPES OF INJUNCTIONS The eighth reason for contradictory narrations is closely related to the seventh.. judging from other factors. interpreted [mu’awwal]. specified [khass]. the apparent meaning of the hadith is taken. This is a clear indication of the indispensability of mujtahid and the necessity of adhering to a particular school thought. and it is compulsory to wash the hands at that time. perspicuous [muhkam]. Obviously both hadiths can not be of the same status. while a third group regarded the injunction as merely giving permission (to perform that action). every individual is compelled to view other commands and injunctions as well. This is necessary to enable him to ascertain rise status of that individual command. With diligence and perseverance. and some aspects of it have already been alluded to in the previous chapter.e. unequivocal [mufassar]. This is why even the Imams have differed over whether this injunction is compulsory. abrogator . another hadith says. This will enable the mujtahid to become conscious of the various categories of Qur’anic verses such as the general [‘amm]. Thereafter. or merely a meritorious act. preferable. some people considered it so be compulsory i. they believed in its compulsion [wujub] A second group considered it a preferable and virtuous action. the actions of the Companions. the reason for the differences of narrations is a long issue indeed. whereas another group consider it preferable. and jurisprudence [fiqh] as a prerequisite to the actual science of Qur’an and hadith. and the principles of jurisprudence [fiqh]. Thus. another group asserts that this is preferable [sunna] to wash them. Mere recitation of a translation of Sahih al-Bukhari will not enable one to determine whether a certain injunction is compulsory. keeping in the hadiths. ambivalent [majmal]. Similar in nature is another hadith which makes mention of washing the hands after waking up. are compulsory or merely preferable. In actual fact. before making wudu' According to some people.. This is why the scholars of hadith have instituted the study of the principles of Qur'an.
I am unable to comprehend what is required of me. analogy. he should be aware of the various categories of hadith such as the continuously recurrent [mutawatir]. Differences are bound to occur over incidents such as these because every individual who was present in such a gathering will reinterpret these commands differently. and logical reasoning [qiyas].17 [nashikh]. Apart from this.” Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) then explained to him of the repose and tranquility required in his 31 salat. he wanted the people to contemplate over the injunctions he issued to them. they do form the basis of some of the differences in narrations. etc. He 30 instructed the man to repeat not only his salat but his wudu’ as well. those attributed directly to the Messenger (PBUH) by a Follower without mention of the Companion in between [mursal] continuous [mutassil]. defective [mu'allal]. their differences.. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered him to repeat his salat. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) ordered him to go and repeat his salat. In addition. The statements of the Comparisons and the Followers. and should be well versed in lexicography and grammar. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) saw a person performing salat while his lower garment was suspended below his ankles. and their unanimous decisions should also be studied carefully. He repeated his salat but once again. In other words. abrogated [mansukh] etc. the Messenger of Allah issued certain injunctions merely to sharpen the minds of his people. a person performed his salat very haphazardly and in extreme haste. Reason 10 AFFECTIONATE INJUNCTIONS VS CAUTIONARY INJUNCTIONS . After this happened a third time and his salat was still considered invalid. "Please explain to me. weak [da'if]. saying his salat was not valid. rigorously authenticated [sahih]. the mujtahid should be well acquainted with the types and categories of deduction. For example. Reason 9 AN INJUNCTION TO SHARPEN THE MIND On some occasions. the person submitted. non-continuously recurrent [ghayr mutawatir]. Although there are very few examples of this nature in the books of hadith. On another occasion. He should also be aware of the status of the narrators of the hadiths.
Therefore. There are thousands of hadiths dealing with jihad which are perfect examples of the differences in narrations. there are many narrations which prohibit his companions from certain farming arrangements. while another hadith says the private parts are merely a piece of the flesh of one’s body. you will nor get tired Your family also has a right over .” Likewise. one hadith mentions the compulsion of wudu’ after touching the private parts. (This prohibition is not general. They argue that it will always be applicable and can not be subjected to the discretion of the leader. I will terminate this discussion concisely together with a few examples.Muslim on the battlefield is entitled to the goods in the possession of the non-Muslim. but our discussion is becoming inadvertently lengthy. This prohibition stems from the Messenger of Allah’s affection toward the farm laborers. which is a consequence of lengthy discussions. "I have been informed that you fast daily and you observe optional [nafl] prayer throughout the night. if the leader of the Muslim army wishes to issue such a statement. this injunction is more of a political or diplomatic nature than a religious injunction. Similarly. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) instructed a woman suffering from dysfunctional uterine bleeding [mustahada] to take a single bath for Zuhr and ‘Asr prayer. many people were prevented from excessive fasting on grounds of the Messenger of Allah’s affection for them. Just as it is possible to find injunctions issued by the Messenger in an affectionate tone. In one battle. another bath for Maghrib and ‘Isha prayer. “Whoever kills a non.18 Allah‘s Messenger (PBUH) was not only the Prophet of the entire community. and a leader to his people. “Do not do this. though he was also more efficient than an ordinary teacher and mentor in the field of spiritual nurturing and upbringing. he was also a physical doctor for the masses. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said.” According to some scholars. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reports that Allah’s Messenger once told him. On the one hand. since most forms of farming are permitted in the Shari‘a. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) issued this statement as a king would issue a royal statement. Conversely. Your body also has a right over you.” He replied. a spiritual doctor to his lovers. You should fast on certain days and refrain on certain days. according to this hadith." Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) thereupon said. If you continue doing as I advised you. You should perform salat during a portion of the night and sleep during a portion of it as well. one will also come across many injunctions which were issued as stern warnings and reprimands. These factors are such that each one of them can become an individual reason for the vast differences of narrations. “This is indeed the case. either awarded preference to one narration over the other. Owing to the possible frustration of the reader. Hence. some scholars assert that this was a religious injunction. he may do so if he feels it is expedient. ‘Allama Sha’rani (may Allah be pleased with him) explains this contradiction thus: “The non-compulsion of wudü’ is for the masses only. This is something about which there can not be any shadow of doubt. or they established a compromise between she two conflicting narrations. just as wudu' is not compulsory after touching any other part of the body.) In a similar vein. while its compulsion is confined to the leaders of the Umma. and another bath for the Fajr prayer. ‘Allama Sha’rani (may Allah be pleased with him) correlated between these two hadiths in the method demonstrated above.. for various conflicting reasons. In addition. I have incorporated all those reasons into one. it is a clear truth exposed to everyone. some narrations inform us that touching a woman invalidates the wudu' while we deduce from other narrations that the wudu’ remains intact. it is not compulsory after touching the private parts. The Scholars have differed as to whether this type of bathing is a form of religious injunction or whether it 32 is a form of medical treatment to combat the illness. Many injunctions of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) in spite of being issued in one context are bound to be confused with injunctions issued from the opposite context. There are conflicting opinions of the scholars in this regard and they obviously. he was more affectionate than parents to a child. He ruled that the first hadith applies to the leaders while the second is for the general masses.
I would like to discuss other reasons for these differences which surfaced in the era of the Companions. what else save affection for ‘Abdullah had prompted Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) to permit him to fast the fast of Dawud (i. “A believer [mu’min] does not remain a believer while he is 36 committing adultery nor does he remain a believer while he is stealing” Of a similar nature is the hadith wherein Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) says.. This category (of differences) is not confined to these examples only. All I wish to prove at this juncture is that the basis for which these differences came about is indispensable. and the consequent differences that appeared.e. “Whosoever consumes alcohol. According to the version mentioned in the Mishkat al-Masabih on the authority of Imam Bukhari. The objective of this assignment has been achieved up to a certain degree. do I wish to cover them all." Following repeated requests. “Fine! I will permit you no more than the fast of Dawud: You may fast every alternate day and no more. to fast every alternate day)? This is why ‘Abdullah used to 34 lament in his old and feeble age. Therefore fasting only three days a month and completing the recitation of the Holy Qur'an only once every month will suffice for you.” This hadith has been transmitted with slight variations in its text in the various books of hadith.19 you. Also you are prohibited From completing the Holy Qur’an once every seven 33 days. At this point. Other Aspects TWO CATEGORIES OF LAWS .” 37 The aforementioned reasons for the differences of narrations were merely mentioned as examples. Likewise." Abdullah replied. I will also present a few examples from these eras. though." Compelling Interpretations There are many other hadiths which were conveyed as threats or admonishments. I would like to bring up an unfounded objection (which normally comes up) at this juncture. the Messenger of Allah finally relented and said. Your friends. At the end of the narration. Allah’s Messenger 35 (PBUH) said. Set aside some time for them during the day and night. or that his fasting is null and void. “Oh Messenger of Allah! I can massage more than that. relatives and visitors also have a right over you. From among the many reasons for these differences. Before I go further. For example. “There no fast for one who observes perpetual fasting [sawm al-dahr]. some have been explained above as examples. his salat is not accepted for forty days. It does not mean that (one who does this) will not be rewarded for it. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) cautions. this hadith is more of an admonishment to abstain from perpetual fasting.” According to some scholars. due to my helplessness. the hadith prohibits perpetual fasting. All the reasons for the differences cannot be accommodated in this brief assignment nor. in that the apparent contradictions in the statements of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) are all explainable. ‘If only I had taken heed of the advice of Allah’s Messenger.
since this would have caused hardships to the Umma. Musa and ‘Isa. This objection stems from a lack of insight into the laws of Shari 'a. were explained in complete detail by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . even if the action is incorrect. can potentially earn the reward of Allah. Similarly. he approved both of their actions. why did he not convey all the injunctions of Shari 'a in complete detail during his lifetime? This would have averted the confusion and anxiety of contradictory narrations and other such issues. everything in this category would have also been incorporated in the first category. (Surat al-Shura 42. this set of laws has taken into account the weakness of the Umma and is intended to make things simpler for the people. I will present just two examples of this nature. it would still have been extremely difficult to preserve these laws from differences of opinion. and unequivocal. differences in the second category are considered a source of mercy upon mankind. Hence. the Shari’a has divided the laws into the two categories of fundamentals and by-laws. This would have consequently placed hardships on the Umma. the Shari’a has divided all the laws into two basic categories: the definitive [qat’i] and the speculative [zanni]. On their return to Allah’s 38 Messenger. Under the category of by-laws.. and this was a primary reason for his advent. this objection looks quite clear-cut and sensible. and a second set of laws in which differences of opinions have been declared a source of Allah’s mercy. This verse sternly prohibits any debate in religion [din] with regard to the first category of injunctions. On the outside. In essence. Some of them took the command to perform the ‘Asr prayer at Banü . The first set of laws is referred to as fundamental beliefs [i'tiqadat]. he divided the laws of the Shari'a into two categories: a set of laws in which contemplation. while the second set is referred to as by-laws or derived laws [juz’iyyat or far’iyyat]. In actual fact it is due to an intense degree of affection toward this Umma that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not regulate and gather all of the by-laws of the Shari’a. provided that the error is not due to one’s negligence.20 An objection which normally appears at this juncture is this: since Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was sent to this world to convey injunctions of Islamic law [Shari 'a]. but in reality it is unfounded and baseless. This is why there has been no prohibition on this type of debate and differences. etc. In fact. even if this was the case.. deliberation and discussion has been abhorred. compulsions. every action. The one who reinterprets these laws differently and does not practice them will not be considered misguided. Differences would still have occurred because all statements constituting the by-Laws of Shari'a are issued through the medium of words. Instead. Due to a lack of water. Plus. and made it strictly prohibited to debate on the first category as is evident from the following verse: Allah has established for you the same religion as that which He enjoined upon Nuh. the Shari’a did not place any constraints. one of them refrained completely from performing salat while the other performed tayammum [dry ablution]. The second set of laws is such that the Shari’a has placed no constraints upon them. the Messenger of Allah commanded a group of Companions to perform their ‘Asr prayer at the dwellings of Banü Qurayza. If all the fundamentals. Qat’i is a reference to those laws which are not left to the intellectual capabilities of man. definitive. and man has no right to reinterpret or to re-expound these laws. and that which We had revealed to you and that which We have enjoined upon lbrahim. Words are multi-facetted and can have multiple interpretations. on another occasion. However. as evident from the scores of incidents which occurred during the blessed era of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Imam Nisai (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates on the authority of Tariq an incident of two Companions who were both in need of a compulsory bath [ghusl]. namely that you should remain steadier in religion and make no divisions therein.13). Anyone reinterpreting these laws is in error and would be considered misguided. Thus. In one example. They are all explicit.
Hence. Allow them to continue accordingly. However. Their statements and schools of thought are practiced throughout the world and there is no sense in prohibiting the people from other schools of thought. en-route to Banü Qurayza. There is no doubt that the Shari'a has placed great ease and flexibility on these secondary differences. DIFFERENCES: A SOURCE OF MERCY This is a desired objective of the statement of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) wherein he says. Those who consider these secondary differences equal to the fundamental differences and apply the Qur'anic verses and hadiths about the evil of differences to these secondary differences are either ignorant or fooled into believing otherwise. Mansur wanted all the Muslims to adhere to uniform code of Islamic law. The people have in their possession the hadiths and the statements of the Companions which they are adhering to. it would not be permissible to sway from one ruling to another even if there was a dire need for it. they performed their Asr salat at its proper time. Imam Malik was requested repeatedly to do this but he emphatically refused each time and declared: The Companions also differed in subsidiary issues and all of them were considered to be correct. by ‘Asr time). in order to ensure that people did not differ over religious [dini] matters. they nonetheless executed what they felt was the meaning of the command issued to them by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). This incident is mentioned in detail in Sahih al-Bukhari. If this was not the case. In short. FUNDAMENTAL AND SUBSIDIARY DIFFERENCES In short. it is permissible to issue a religious verdict (fatwa) according to the school of thought of another Imam provided there is a legal and juridical (shar'i) need to do so. another group regarded this as a command to reach Banu Qurayza in haste (i. if time assists me in my endeavors. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not object 39 to the actions of either of the two groups.” The fact that these differences of opinion area source of mercy is quite obvious. However if there were no allowances for such differences of opinion. he requested Imam Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) to give him a copy of all his works so that he (Mansur) could have them published and dispatched to all the parts of the Islamic world. Even though their salat was delayed from its actual time. It is not my objective of discussion at this point. the differences of opinion found among the Imams are religiously required. I will mention this topic in more detail while discussing the differences of opinion of the third era. In addition. There are numerous other incidents of this nature. Allah willing. Similarly. there is a vast distinction between fundamental differences and secondary differences. and the benefits of them are manifold.21 Qurayza literally and acted accordingly. Those who have some inclination toward jurisprudence [fiqhi] will surely understand the aforementioned benefits of the differences of opinion. This was one of the reasons why Imam Milik (may Allah be pleased with him) declined to comply with Caliph Harün al-Rashid’s request for him to hang a copy of his Muwatta’ upon the wall of the Ka'ba and issue a command for everyone to adhere to it. Prejudice toward any School ‘Allama Sha’rani (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his book Al-Mizan. O leader of the faithful! Do not ever think of doing this. Imam Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) replied. the Umma would have been encumbered with difficulties beyond their endurance.e. “The differences of my Umma are a source of mercy. when Caliph Mansur went for hajj.. Every Imam has some difference or another on subsidiary issues of Shari'a. .
what I wish to say is that the differences of opinion found among the Imams which appear to be disunity are in actual fact not disunity. there would be no scope for the Imams to have any differences. if Allah abhorred this difference of opinion. This is most definitely not what I mean. "When a person is bound to a particular school of thought and he also progresses in the field of spirituality at the very summit he reaches a sea (of consciousness) through which all the Imams have passed. where one Imam considers a certain juridical [shar'i] injunction as compulsory. their followers are bound to adhere to it. Al-Manhaj al-mubin fi adillat al-mujtahidin [Clear Way in the Proofs of the Mujtahids}. I have assembled all the corroborating statements of the various Imams in that book and. At that time a person realizes that all the schools of thought are on the right path. you will not have objections against the followers of any of the Imams. This can be likened to a Prophet who. the entire work is worth translating. established that they were all divinely guided. The only difference between the opinions of the Imams is that. In that case. as it should be understood. this does not mean that a person is at liberty to infer and draw conclusions from the texts of the Qur’an or hadiths according to his own understanding.. Some students were duped into believing that this is what I meant. you will land yourself in an abyss of destruction because Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) concluded that differences in subsidiary issues of religion are a source of divine mercy. In actual fact. If you regard the subsidiary differences of opinion as the same as fundamental differences in religion [din]. It will be firmly impressed on your mind that all the four schools of thought are part and parcel of the Shari’a. I am in no way implying that one is at liberty so select the opinion of whichever Imam one fancies—either the compulsory or the optional.22 'If you view it with an impartial eye. you will clearly realize that all the four Imams and their followers are on the path of divine guidance. Nonetheless.' Shaykhh Muhyi ‘l-Din ibn ‘Arabi writes in his book Futuhat al-Makkiyya. Allah is All-Knowing and All-Wise and His expediency demanded that things should turn out as they have become. if you wish to savor its taste. Hence. Once you have studied this carefully.’ This priceless treatise of Imam Sha’rani (may Allah be pleased with him). but an established reality confirmed by the statements of the learned elders [masha'ikh]. However. On the contrary. consequently. inferences. then He would have forbidden it as He had forbidden debating on the fundamental teachings of the Shan’a. and that the contradictory statements of the various Imams are a source of divine mercy. any debate of the Imams would have been a source of misguidance and the lack of debate would have caused untold hardship to the community at large. whichever one they select. another would consider the same as optional. Furthermore. What I am saying is that each of the Imams has selected one of the two options before him. In short. the various opinions of the Imams are all extracted from the hadiths. once he receives divine revelation [wahy]. and corroborating statements. The fact of the matter is that as long as one does not cross all the stations of the spiritual path (suluk) through the companionship and direction of an accomplished spiritual guide [shaykh kamil]. deductions. is worth writing in gold. His topic is extremely beneficial in fact. there was a religious [dini] need so have the narrations also revealed with some amount of ambiguity. I have established good thoughts toward them as a result of extensive research into their opinions. Whatever I have mentioned about the Imams I have not said simply because I cherish favorable thoughts about them. they are indispensable and their absence would have been a burden on the Umma. If these juridical laws were conclusively revealed like the fundamental tenets of faith. has a good view of all the other religions as well. which runs into almost a hundred pages. you should also proceed to an accomplished spiritual guide and exert yourself in order to acquire the reality of these metters. will not be exposed to him. the complete reality of this. since their differences of opinion stem from the differences in narrations. as this would lead him astray. By this statement. Whatever their stages of differences. Such a difference of opinion is not . as it would render the entire religion a plaything. This is not a fabrication from myself. Whoever does not believe me should study my book.
For instance. The only difference of opinion which is reputable is that which is subjected to judicial [shari'] maxims and principles. wherein he also transmits the various opinions of the scholars on this issue of whether or not narrating the meaning of the hadith instead of the actual text is permissible. This conflict was bound to occur. there were many other factors during the era of the Companions and Followers that contributed to the conflict in narrations.” Allama Dhahabi (may Allah be pleased with him) quotes the statement of Abu Hãtim in his book Tadhkirat alhuffaz: “I have not seen any of the hadith narrators. PART TWO THE ERA OF THE COMPANIONS & THE FOLLOWERS Reason 1 Narration by Meaning Apart from the reasons mentioned regarding the first era. In other words. in the incident which dealt with bathing when in a seminally defiled state [janaba].23 sound. He based its permissibility on a hadith narrated by Tabarani and Ibn Manda in which Abdullah ibn Sulayman once told the Messenger of Allah that he was unable to narrate the Messenger’s . memorizing and relating the exact words of the hadiths (as they had heard them) without any change whatsoever.. people used to narrate the hadiths in their own words and not in the actual words of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) considered the actions of those who had speculated based to their own understanding as ignorance. Allãma Suyuti says that all four Imams have unanimously agreed that narrating a hadith by meaning instead of the actual text is permissible. provided the other prerequisites are found in the narrator.” Allama Suyuti (may Allah be pleased with him) has dealt with this topic in detail in his book Tadrib al-rawi. Ibn Sirin says. However. “I used to hear one hadith from ten people and all of them used to differ in the text but they used to be unanimous in the meaning. One of the foremost reasons for these conflicting narrations is due to narration by meaning and not narration by actual text. besides Qubaysa.
and not for anybody else. We will explain this in detail at another time. It is possible that in narrating the meaning instead of the actual text.e. they are sometimes interchanged). provided he narrated the 40 meaning of the hadith in full.” Waki’ (may Allah be pleased with him) said. narrating the meaning of the hadiths rather than their text was permissible only for the Companions. etc. one may attribute something incorrectly to him and consequently become liable to severe punishment. “The Holy Qur’an is written out and preserved in its original form. This is why Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) decided to make the religious verdicts [fatawa] of Ibn Mas’ud the basis of (much of) his jurisprudence [fiqh]. some of the hadiths I have only heard once. the aforementioned issue is one of the chief reasons why Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) refrained from attributing the hadiths directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) .” Hadiths like this explaining the virtues of Ibn Mas'ud are rarely found narrated in favor of the other Companions. The Messenger (PBUH) once said. “If there were no (allowance for) narrating the meaning of the hadiths instead of the actual text. The Difficulty of Narrating by Memory It is also very difficult to remember all the actual words of the hadiths. Instead. Among others. He was one of the greatest of the Companions.24 exact words. “He (Abdullah’ ibn Mas'ud) used to frequent the house of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) to such an extent that we were initially under 41 the impression that he was a family member. among others have permitted this for all narrators.. albeit with certain conditions.” Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) even granted him permission to listen. other hadith scholars [muhaddithin] like Qasim ibn Muhammad.” Upon this Wathila commented. the Messenger of Allah appointed him as a teacher of the Holy Qur'an. “If I were to appoint anyone as a leader [amir] would have appointed Ibn 42 Mas'ud as a leader. Sha'bi. When it comes to narrating the hadiths of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) consider the narration of the meaning as sufficient (and do not be overly concerned with the actual text). along with the fact that it is dangerous to attribute (a hadith) directly to him. the entire nation of Muslims would have been destroyed. Wãthila asked him. “We do not know the Qur’an so well that we would not make any mistakes whatsoever. . ‘This was one of the main reasons why a great multitude of the Followers [tabi'in] abstained from attributing a hadith directly to the Messenger of Allah. “Does any one of you know the Qur’an by heart?” Makhül replied. In spite of this. The Messenger (PBUH) permitted him to change the text of the hadith. they used to narrate the hadith in the form of an injunction. On one occasion Makhul asked Wãthila ibn al-Asqa to narrate a hadith that he heard from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) without adding or subtracting any words and without a doubt or error in the text of the hadith. During his lifetime. Ibn Sirin. So how can I narrate a hadith in the manner you have requested? In fact. Zuhri. Ibrãhim (al-Nakh'ay). Even a personality like Ibn Mas'üd was extremely cautious in attributing any hadith directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). about whom Abu Musa al-Ash'ari says. of error or mistakes while narrating the actual (text of the) hadiths. Cautioun in Textual Narrations Other great scholars were also very cautious about attributing the hadiths directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) because it was extremely difficult to abstain from any form. However. to his personal secrets.” According to Ibn al-Arabi. you tend to make errors in the letter "fa" and “wãw” (i.
as this would have created differences and contention among the community.” In short. While toiling in their fields. he narrates the statement of Abü Sa'id al-Khudri’ that bathing [ghusl] is compulsory upon every mature person on Fridays. When all the people used to gather in the masjid for the Friday prayer. At this point. I have mentioned a few incidents to elucidate on the fact that. the narrators related the meanings of the hadiths instead.’ I will not be able to do that. we have also established that differences in those narrations are also inevitable. Due to a difference in interpretation. Abu ‘Amr al-Shaybani says. However. Imam Muhammad al-Shaybãni (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his Muwatta “As far as we are aware. due to excessive perspiration. If Allah wills. per chance.” Similarly. However. the odor given off by some people . For example. However. and his numerous hadiths. Ibn Abbãs said. I have also explained why the senior Companions refrained from attributing anything directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).” Anas. say Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said’ in regards to any sentence.. “If I did not have a fear of slipping up. some of the people who heard the initial injunction were probably not present to hear its abrogation and thus continued narrating what they heard (before the abrogation). since it was difficult to narrate the hadiths word for word. However. “I stayed with ‘Abdullãh ibn Mas'üd for a period of one year and I did not hear him attributing any hadith to the Messenger of Allah. there are many such incidents which highlight the Companions’ caution when it came to attributing the hadiths to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Since we have established the permissibility of narrating (a hadith) with meaning instead of narrating with the actual text. there are many narrations which permit wiping [masah] over the turban. their clothing used to give off an offensive odor. I will deal with this in more detail when we discuss the allegations against Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) regarding his knowledge of hadith. his lofty virtues. Their garments were made of thick woolen material at that time. Reason 2 ABROGATION One of the other reasons for differences in narrations during the era of the Companions and Followers was that many a time Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would say something which later became abrogated. I fear that if I narrate those hadiths. wiping over the turban was permissible at the very beginning of Islam and it was later prohibited. “This compulsion was confined to the beginning of Islam only. I will fall under the threat of punishment” Suhayb says: “I will be able to narrate the incidents that took place in our battles while we were with Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) However.25 What I wish to make clear at this point is that in spite of his excessive knowledge. for me to narrate that ‘this is what Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. lf he did. At that time the people used to work in their fields themselves and were unable to employ any servants due to extreme poverty. in his speech after the death of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). This is one of the reasons why Abü Bakr. the special attendant [khadim khass] of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) says. differences in meaning are also bound to appear. The masjid in those times was also very small. I would have narrated many hadiths that I had heard from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). his entire body would tremble (out of fear of attributing something incorrectly to him). forbade the people from narrating hadiths. he rarely attributed the hadiths directly to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).
” Likewise. whenever Ali would hear a hadith from anyone other than Abu Bakr.. in which he says. The specialists in the field of hadith have prohibited the people from acting upon the hadiths directly until they have the capability to distinguish between the authentic and the unauthentic. among other things. However. This is why we also mentioned another interpretation of this hadith previously [see page 15]: the word wudu’ in the hadith of Abu Hurayra (as explained above) refers to the washing of the hands and the mouth and nor to the technical meaning of wudu’. Contrary to this. errors and other human shortcomings. the Messenger of Allah’s habit was not to make wudu’ after eating something cooked over the fire. Allah provided ease for the Muslims and the masjid was also extended. In his Isaba. If I had to narrate. 45 Reason 3 THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN ERROR The scholars are unanimous in their view that the Companions were all reliable narrators ['adul]. everyone is afflicted with forgetfulness. If there are any contradictions on the part of the narrator. the compulsion of 43 bathing no longer remains.” This hadith clearly shows that the compulsion of wudü’ was abrogated. I am restrained by the fact that there are some Companions who heard the hadiths from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) like I did. Jabir’ relates. The inevitable existence of these types of errors explains why. I have already mentioned the statement of Imrän ibn Husayn. etc. the contradictions will be resolved. “Toward the latter part of his life. However. Thereafter. They can neither be criticized nor censured. they are not doing this intentionally. However. I fear I would also fall into the same abyss. “By Allah! I know so many hadiths that I can go on narrating for a very long time. between the correct and the incorrect. it is incumbent to compare narrations with one another to determine if there are any errors. but in spire of this they are prone to making mistakes while narrating. This is why they were commanded to have a bath and apply perfume. Imam Abü Dãwud (may Allah be pleased with him) disagrees with this interpretation of the hadith.” There is also a comparable narration from Abü Hurayra which says that the wudü’ is nullified if one consumes 44 anything cooked over the fire. . he used to make the narrator swear an oath that he had reported it exactly the way he heard it from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).26 used to be very offensive to other attendees. Hence. and between the truth and the fabricated. Obviously. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani describes this as the unanimous opinion of the People of the Sunna [Ahl al-Sunna]. Hence. there is a possibility of making a mistake while narrating a hadith.
clothing. a group of narrators relate that the salat is nullified if a woman or dog passes in front of one performing 48 salät. we have already previously mentioned the case in which Abdullah ibn Umar said. Fatima bint Qays narrated that a woman who has been issued an irrevocable divorce has no right to claim food. she said. Such narrations are compiled in detail in Fath al-Bari. 'A'isha rejected this view. even if the latter has relatively more reliable narrators or there are other narrations supporting it.. There are many such cases in which the narrators erred in spite of being reliable and truthful.” In addition. but to practice upon the hadiths. He narrates this (ruling) from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . the hadith that is in greater conformance with the Qur’an will be awarded preference over the hadith that is not as conforming to it. “How can I relinquish a Qur'anic 49 verse for the statement of one woman? To sum up. transmitting. According to the Hanafis. otherwise it will not. . who insisted that Ibn Umar had erred in narrating the hadith. This is not impossible. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) passed by a deceased Jewish woman who was being mourned over by her family members. One of the rules is to compare the narration with other narrations. Finally. At times. The one who does this is quite proud of his own knowledge in spite of his ignorance. If it is conforming to the juridical principles. and this was also his personal ruling [fatwa] on the issue. those narrating the hadiths tended to slip up in their narrations. one of the reasons for the contradiction of narrations stems from the differences in how the hadiths were preserved. We beseech the assistance of Allah alone.” His report was rejected by 'A’isha. their crying had nothing to do with her punishment. the hadith is as follows: “On one occasion. This is why the scholars have laid down stringent rules for accepting the narration of a lone narrator. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) did not perform any 46 'umra in the month of Rajab. one avails himself of the services of a bullion dealer. it will be accepted. 'A'isha and Umm Salama report that at times the Messenger (PBUH) used to be in need of bathing [ghusl] at dawn. the commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari. However. saying this narration is incorrect. He remarked. It is quite bewildering to note that to determine the purity of gold. under the chapter dealing with fasting. The aforementioned incident of Umar also supports one of the principles of the Hanafi school. even the most intelligent person can become confused with comprehending. One such example involves a narration from Abdullah ibn Umar which states that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) performed ‘umra in the month of Rajab. he is not permitted to fast on that specific day. or shelter from her husband. he considers the services of an analyst as dispensable. Similarly. All of these incidents also verify what I have repeatedly indicated: that the only person who can practice upon the hadith directly is the one who has the capacity to recognize right from wrong. but he 47 would fast on those days as well. “The deceased is punished in his grave if his family cries or mourns over him. Sometimes. Abu Hurayra says if a person is in need of a compulsory bath [ghusl] at the time of true dawn [subh sadiq].27 There are scores of examples of such errors in the books of hadith. Likewise. When 'A'isha heard of his account. According to her. “Ibn Umar has forgotten. ‘These people are crying over her whereas she is being inflicted with the punishment of the grave!” According to 'A'isha . When Umar heard this he remarked. or relating the meaning of a statement. in opposition to this.
” The Companions used to accept even the outward meaning of the words of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) asked who the house belonged to. but taking the literal words into account. above and beyond the consideration of their actual meaning. when Abu Sa'id al-Khudri was on his death-bed. so shall We return it” (Surat al-Anbiya 21:104) This meaning is established on the grounds of many hadiths. On being informed. they used to adhere to it. The Companion made salam many times. Anas narrates.” On the contrary. - . he declined to reply to his salam. The books of hadith are replete with such examples. he refrained from informing him. these examples seem dubious. They at times were quite aware that this was not what he meant. Abdullah ibn Umar never entered the masjid by that door.. I would have sacrificed a hundred for every action. “I heard Allah's Messenger (PBUH) saying that a person will be resurrected on the Day of 50 Judgment.28 Reason 4 LOVE FOR ALLAH’S MESSENGER (PBUH) Companions were the real devotees and ardent followers of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). “It would have been a good idea to reserve this door for the exclusive use of the women." will clearly understand the importance of even the apparent worth of his beloved. When informed by the others about what had transpired earlier. Every one of the most seemingly trivial incidents that transpired while they were in the company of the Messenger (PBUH) is a testament to their devotion to him. it has been established by famous hadiths that everyone will be resurrected naked on the Day of Judgment. On the surface. This was one of the main reasons why the Companions used to narrate even the abrogated hadiths. but he chose to act on the literal meaning of the hadith and wear the new clothes. This is discussed under the commentary of the Quranic verse.with the clothing he dies in. he did not even inform Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) of his action: out of shame and remorse. the Messenger (PBUH) did not utter a word. They were prepared to lay down a hundred lives for every action of his. Likewise. but one who has “had a sip from the fountain of love. He thereafter said. but to no avail. Above that.” From then on. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) pointed to one of the doors of the masjid [al-Nabawi] and remarked. It would be preposterous to suggest that Abü Said al-Khudri was unaware of the meaning. They were wholly befitting of the poem: If the Almighty had to bestow me with unlimited hearts. The Messenger of Allah only learnt of it when he happened to pass by the same house on another occasion. Once. The relationship the Companions enjoyed with Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) cannot be expressed in words. “The Messenger of Allah passed by the house of a Companion who had added an additional room to it. When the Companion in question appeared before Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . He was aware of it. he immediately went home and demolished the extended room. he called for a new set of clothes and put them on. of the hadiths. “As We commenced the initial creation.
and (4) the conditions of all the narrators who narrate hadiths. with four conditions. my teacher.e. He advised me thus. ‘I have not heard anything from them. Similarly.” I said. My teacher requested him to narrate those hadiths to me which he had heard from his teachers [mashä’ikh]. it seems senseless to propagate abrogated hadiths (but such was their. “Certainly. I will narrate a remarkable quote from Imam Bukhãri (may Allah be pleased with him) which will enlighten the reader on the diligence required to become a seeker of hadith. upon four things. four things will become insignificant before him and he will be tried with four other things.29 On the outside. The Advice of Imam Bukhari to the Seeker of Hadith Even though the issue at hand is growing more long-winded. They have even laid down principles and conditions for the seekers of this science. ‘When I became a rational and mature adult and I developed a passion toward the science of hadith. He replied. Abü Ibrãhim Al-Khatalli took me with him to see Walid. These (four pieces of information) must be written together with the following four things: (1) the actual names of the narrators. (2) the sayings of the Companions and their relative ranks. before you set out to pursue any field. in four places.. Please explain these four-angled things for me. make sure you are well-grounded with its prerequisites and demands. I went to Imam Bukhãri (may Allah be pleased with him) and explained my intentions to him. All of these four-angled things can only be achieved with another four things coupled with another four. ‘How can you say that you have not heard anything from them whereas you are a deeply-read scholar?’ Walid then related his story saying. there are many such hadiths which were narrated in spite of the fact that their apparent meanings were unanimously declared obsolete. Allama Suyuti relates (through his chain) that Muhammad ibn Ahmad said: “When Abu ‘l-Abbas Walid ibn Ibrahim was deposed as the chief justice of Rayy (formally of the great cities of Persia located a few miles from Tehran) and he came to Bukhãrã.” He said. and why they were so cautious before saying or writing anything on this subject. who among them are reliable and who are not). love for the Messenger (PBUH) and his words). The rules and regulations set out for the teachers and hadith scholars are even more stringent. Allah will honor him with four things in this world and award him four things in the hereafter. (He must write these things) in four times. we understand why the hadith scholars have laid down such stringent rules and regulations for acquiring the science of hadith. If he exercises patience in these four trials. “May Allah have mercy upon you.’ My teacher was quite shocked and remarked. and for four objectives. from four types of people. (3) the sayings of the Followers and their ranks (i. spurred by the necessity of the present discussion. From this. And remember that a person cannot become a perfect scholar in the science of hadith [muhaddith] until and unless he writes four things with four other things. “Son. which are as indispensable as four things. let alone an accomplished shaykh or scholar of hadith [muhaddith]. . The four things he has to write are: (1) the statements and commands of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Once all these things are achieved. which resemble four other things.
(3) in his poverty.. (In other words. and (4) in his old age. (3) as (the recitation of) bismillah (is necessary) with a süra (of the Qur’an). . (These are indispensable to him) just (as four things are necessary with four other things:) (1) as praises [tahmid] of Allah (are necessary) with the khutba. and (4) their dates of birth and death (to determine whether the narrator actually met the people he has narrated from). (2) while he is free. (3) the mawqufat [narrations traceable only to a Companion ]. and (4) the maqtu'at [narrations traceable only to a Follower]. close to maturity).e. he must continue acquiring hadiths at all times throughout every stage of his life? They must be written) under four conditions: (1) while his is occupied. These resemble four other things (which are names of four categories of hadith): (1) the musnadat [narrations traceable to the Messenger]. (are necessary) with mention of the name of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). (2) in his age of discernment (i. and (4) in his affluence.30 (2) their appellations or titles [kuna]. (3) their places of residence. (2) the mursalat [narrations transmitted by a Follower from the Messenger directly without a Companion in between]. (These things must all be written) jn four times: (1) in his childhood. and (4) as the takbir (is necessary) with the salat. (3) in his youth. (2) as salutations [salawat].
. (3) upon skins. (In other words. (2) to practice upon the hadiths which confirm to the verses of the Holy Qur’an. no matter where that teacher is located. and (4) from the books of his father.31 (In other words. He writes what he has acquired) upon four things: (1) upon stones. He has four objectives for doing all of these things :) (1) to acquire (this science) solely for the pleasure of Allah . (2) lexicography and vocabulary.. he must endeavour to acquire this science from the right teacher. and (4) in rural areas. he endeavours to acquire this science in every way possible without feeling ashamed to obtain it even from his juniors. even when be does not find paper he will continue recording it somewhere) until he finds the paper upon which to preserve it. (2) on the seas. (He acquires it from four different types of people :) (1) from his seniors. Thereafter. and (4) to write it out so that it can be a source of guidance to those who will come after him. (In other words. (3) to propagate (the science) to those who seek it. (3) from his counterparts. and (4) upon bones. the aforementioned four things cannot be acquired (unless he has first acquired) four other things that are part of human acquisition: (1) the knowledge of how to read and write. provided he has firm conviction that these are his father’s books. (In other words. This is done) at four places: (1) in mountainous terrain. (2) upon shells. he must diligently pursue the knowledge of these things no matter what his circumstances may be. (3) in cities. (2) from his juniors.
Once all the aforementioned four-angled things are attained by him. (On top of that. but are bestowed by Allah : (1) sound health. and (4) a retentive memory..32 (3) morphology. and (4) close proximity with the Prophets [anbiya'] in the Highest of the High Places [a’lã ‘illiyyin]. (2) the shade of the throne of Allah on the day when there will be no shade available except the shade of His throne. Allah will honor him with four things in this world: (1) the honor of contentment [qana'a]. (3) the pleasure of sacred knowledge ['ilm] and (4) eternal life. Once he exercises patience on these calamities. and (4) syntax. He will then be afflicted with four things: (1) his enemies will rejoice at his distress. and (4) the scholars [ulamà] will be jealous of him. (2) ability. (2) his friends will reproach him. Together with four other things that are not of human acquisition. . then four things will become insignificant before him: (. (3) the privilege to provide water to whomsoever he pleases from the pool of Muhammad [al-Kawthar]. (3) an ardent desire for learning. (3) the ignorant will taunt him. (2) conviction coupled with awe and dignity.) Allah will honor him with four things in the hereafter: (1) the honor of intercession on behalf of whomever he pleases.
practically and through sound discernment. there are relatively fewer links between him and Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Instead. This increase is quite rational because (as an Urdu expression goes) “The more the mouths. To Allah alone do we complain and He alone is the Helper. If you relay a message to someone and there are many links involved in conveying the message. In order to clarify this. Our present times of extreme negligence and laziness. In the second era. This subject is out of our present range of discussion. have become subjected to the people’s whims and fancies. All I would say at this point is that an excessive number of links is a major cause for differences. even if we were to search for it. the dates of birth and death of the famous Imams are listed below: . I have sufficed by mentioning a few reasons. the further we moved away from the era of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . the more the disparities between them increased. In other words. a fact which one can determine logically. let alone ordinary concerns. We should take heed of Imam Bukhãri’s advice and hold firmly onto it.. the more the reasons for these differences also increased. If Allah wills. the science of hadith is even more difficult to attain than Imam Bukhãri (may Allah be pleased with him) describes. Followers [tabi'in]. can be likened to “a monkey who has a bit of turmeric powder and wishes to be called a grocer. where the maximum extent of education in this science is (normally limited to studying) the six authentic books of hadith [sihah sitta] for one to call himself a hadith scholar. from among the numerous reasons for the differences of opinions. This is why the hadith scholars have considered a hadith with a smaller number of links as having a preferential factor over other hadiths. my son. an inconsistency in the message is bound to occur.” These are the principles and rules Imam Bukhäri has laid out for every individual who wishes to become a hadith scholar or a student of hadith. they have advised us to transcribe the verdicts from similar religious verdicts of the past. even the most intricate of scholastic issues.” The extent to which this group of half-baked molwis [scholars graduating from madrasas] has made a mock of our religion [din] cannot be found in the time of our predecessors. During the times of the Companions [sahaba]. Now you have the choice to either pursue this field or to abstain from it. The reason for this is quite clear as well. so I will now return to our previous discussion. The more the links in conveying the hadiths increased. mujtahid Imams and the hadith scholars [muhaddithin]. the jurisprudence [fiqh] of Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him) is awarded preference over the jurisprudence and statements of the other jurists and hadith scholars because. In fact. According to the Hanafi school. the jurists of the later centuries [muta’akhkhirin] have prohibited us from issuing any religious verdicts [fatawa] based on our own opinions. the reasons that led to differences of opinion increased.33 So now. I will explain this in detail at some other point.” Reason 5 EXCESSIVE LINKS BETWEEN NARRATORS The fifth reason for differences is basically due to the excessive number of links in conveying the hadiths (between the time of the Messenger (PBUH) and the current era). the more the statements. The main cause for this current degeneration among the scholars stems from our confidence in our virtues and our reliance upon our defective and unsound knowledge. But alas! In these times. I have told you whatever I have heard from my teachers [mashä’ikh]. In actual fact. Followers of the Followers [atba' al-tabi’in]. traditionally. among other reasons.
(he) is still not permitted to employ a particular hadith to prove something until he verifies the continuation of the link of narrators and studies the conditions of its narrators. either due to a weak memory or due to some other disorder.. and other hadith books which have many weak narrations and that person has tile capability to differentiate between the authentic and’ unauthentic. but due to some problem or other. This consequently brought about more differences in the wording of the narrations. Among other things. Nasã’i Ibn Mäja and in the Musannafs of Ibn Abi Shayba or Abd al-Razzaq’ ibn alHumans. This is why the Imams of hadith have concluded that if a person wishes to practice upon a particular hadith. This is also one of the major reasons why the learned elders [mashã’ikh] prohibit the ordinary laymen from practicing upon a hadith directly without the consent of the scholars. it is quite evident that since a period of two hundred years separates Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) from Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. . he should be well aware of the conditions of its narrator. Reason 6 WEAK NARRATORS The sixth reason is caused by the weakness of a narration. there are bound to be many links between them. Due to the excessive number of links in a narration. of any of the hadiths appearing in the Sunan collections of Imam Abü Dãwüd. Contrast this with the era of Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with them): not even a period of one hundred years separates them from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). a weak or unreliable narrator sometimes finds his way into the chain of narrators. since the compilation of the various hadith books only began in the second century. Tirmidhi. Imam Nawawi writes in his commentary on al-Arba’in: "The person who wishes to prove anything on the basis. there were relatively more narrators (at that time). Some narrators have a tendency to narrate something very different from what they heard.34 Imam Abu Hanifa Malik Shafi'i Ahmed bin Hanbal Bukhari Muslim Abu Dawud Tirmidhi Nasa'i Ibn Maja Birth 80 AH 95 AH 150 AH 164 AH 194 AH 204 AH 202 AH 209 AH 214 AH 209 AH Death 150 AH 179 AH 204 AH 241 AH 256 AH 261 AH 275 AH 279 AH 303 AH 273 AH Age 70 84 54 77 62 57 73 70 89 64 From this table. Also. an excessive number of links is one of the causes for differences between narrations.. they began making blunders in their narrations and narrating incorrectly. Some narrators were such that their books or their memories could be relied upon.
” The hadith scholars have recorded many similar statements.” Masih ibn Jahm narrates the incident of an innovator [mubtadi] who. He advised. he is compelled to fallow an Imam and he is not permitted to draw his own deductions from the hadiths. we would fabricate a hadith accordingly. Allah willing. and we used to consider leading you astray to be a meritorious act. ‘Before you accept a hadith. Ibn Lahi'a says. when he repented." At a later stage we will. scholars have explicitly concluded that a person cannot be permitted to practice upon hadith directly if he does not have the capacity to differentiate between the reliable and unreliable. . When we (the Khawarij) wanted to propagate something. lest he should fall into falsehood.” Hammãd ibn Salama (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the statement of a Rãfidi (a member of the Shiite Twelver sect): “Whenever any proposals used to be passed in our gatherings. the first three generations of Muslims). and between the general statements and the specifying statements of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . explain in a more detail that most of the jurists and hadith. This is so obvious that it does not require any explicit mention. whatever differences do occur in the accepted narrations will still be considered minimal (compared to what the situation could have been).e. He later received divine guidance to repent for all his wrongdoings. “There was a person who was once a leader [shaykh] of the Khawãrij (a deviated sect). This is why many hadith scholars compiled books focusing only on fabricated hadiths (in order to expose them as unauthentic). gave way to the era of falsehood and fabrications. taking an oath. How can a person who is unable to distinguish between the reliable and unreliable practice upon a narration? Reason 7 FABRCATION OF HADITHS The eera of the best of generations [khayr al-qurun] (i. Inspired by their vested interests.) people began fabricating hadiths willfully. (At that time. as foretold by Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). said: “We had fabricated many baseless narrations which you narrated from us. make sure you study the conditions of its narrators. Hãfiz ibn Hajar (may Allah be pleased with him) has made particular mention of such incidents in his book Lisan..35 If he does not possess these capabilities. many of the fabricators used to concoct false hadiths. between the hadith that abrogates and the one that is abrogated. we used to fabricate a narration accordingly. Consequently.
In fact. Yahya ibn Ma'in beckoned the preacher with his hand to come over to them. This was one of the main reasons 'Umar placed constraints on lecturing during his time. “I always heard that Yahyã ibn Ma'in is a stupid fool but today this hearsay has been confirmed. However. This ignorant fool did not even know who he was talking to. Yahya said. “How can you be under the impression that the names ‘Yahya ibn Ma'in and ‘Ahmad ibn Hanbal’ refer only to you two? I have heard hadiths from seventeen people by the names Yaliyã ibn Ma'in and Almad ibn Hanbal. At the termination of his lecture. the rule stating that if a person is known to have inclinations to the Rafidi sect. While he was being hung he said. Yahya asked. “The hypocrites have fabricated fourteen thousand hadiths. having good thoughts of all and sundry.36 Some Reasons for the Fabrication of hadiths My objective in relating a few of these incidents is to point out that the fabricators themselves have confessed to concocting hadiths. there is no problem with the narration. the moment the chain exceeds this number. Abü Nuaym writes in AI-Hilya that Imam Zuhri said. “When there are two. Some of these fabricators used to fabricate solely for what they called the preservation of their ideology [din]. One of them was Abd al-Karim ibn AbI al-Awja’. “Who narrated these hadiths to you?” Once again. some people believed that it was permissible to fabricate hadiths with intent to create a yearning in the hearts of the people toward the delights of the hereafter. it is better to remain silent. We did not narrate these hadiths to you nor have we ourselves heard them (from someone else). his narrations regarding the household [ahl al-bayt] of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) will not be accepted. three. such as the Rãfidis. Since these two personalities were very famous in the world of hadith. he commented. “I am Yahya ibn Ma'in and this is Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Their stories are mentioned in detail in the books dealing with fabricated hadiths. who was hung in the time of (the Abbasi) Caliph Mahdi. Similar is the case of the “Hadiths of the Preachers. Hammãd ibn Zayd said. etc. The Sufis.” “How is this confirmation possible?” asked Yahya. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal covered his face out of grief while the lecturer brushed the whole incident off as a joke and vanished. salat. a preacher [wa'iz] began narrating hadiths attributed to these two Imams during his lecture. After the. Since the Sufis were regarded as reliable people. the others in turn accepted their narrations. readily accepted all types of narrations. One of the categories of hadith which has come under criticism by the Imams includes the hadiths of the Sufis and the Preachers [wã'izin]. The narrations of the Preachers can also be found in the books dealing with fabricated hadiths. Imam Muslim (may Allah be pleased with him) has dealt with this topic extensively in the introduction to his Sahih.” Some people used to fabricate hadiths merely to appease a king or a leader.” replied Yahya. Under the false impression that he was being summoned to be rewarded. Considering such narrations to be authentic.” While this was taking place. among other principles. preachers tended to fabricate hadiths merely to add a bit more spice to their lectures. he came over to them. Upon this.” .. the Khawãrij. “I had fabricated four thousand hadiths in which I had made many unlawful things lawful and vice versa. This is why the hadith scholars have laid down. The preacher replied. or to instill fear in them of the catastrophes of doomsday. “So you are Yahya ibn Ma’in?” “Surely that is me. he mentioned their names. or even four links in a chain of narrators (for a hadith). he had simply made use of their good names. The preacher then asked. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Yahya ibn Ma'in (may Allah be pleased with them) once went into a certain masjid to offer their salat. they used to transmit them to others.” Many a time.
Zayn al-Iraqi said. This reason is also quite similar to the previous reason. what will then be the situation with fabricated statements?” These were the reasons which prompted the scholars to compile special books on fabricated hadiths. Apart from the aforementioned reasons. This knowledge would develop a capacity to understand the hadiths. Just as they compiled books on authentic hadiths. Similarly. for this reason. ‘Therefore. This background knowledge would enable a person to understand the reality of the hadiths.37 Khabbab ibn al-Aratt narrates that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. and he would be able to assess the truthfulness of the hadiths as well. This eventually leads to corrupt beliefs. there are many other reasons for the differences of opinions. to ensure that those who came after them do not fall into a trap of deception. a narrator himself is trustworthy and reliable. “One of the shortcomings of the Preachers [wa'izin] is their tendency to lecture to the laymen on issues which they (the laymen) are unable to understand. our past scholars considered certain branches of knowledge mandatory even before one ventures into the field of hadith. they also compiled books on fabricated hadiths. When this is the case with true and authentic statements. this discussion has remained brief. Often. That is why his (other) narrations are not rejected: he confusion in his. though the actual narrator himself is reliable. narration only occurred because of some other conspiracy. Also. “One of the predicaments of the Preachers [wa'izin] is their tendency to narrate anything and everything before the masses. This in turn leads to corrupt beliefs. ‘Those who specialize in the principles of hadith study [usul al-hadith] have explicitly mentioned that Hammãd ibn Salama’s books had been tampered with by his adopted son Abü al-Awjã’.” Hafiz Zayn al-Din al-Iraqi says. There is a risk that some people may develop evil thoughts of the hadiths due to their lack of understanding and awareness of juridical [shar'i] knowledge.” Abdulläh ibn Masüd says. “If you narrate such hadiths to a group of people who are unable to understand what you are saying. Reason 8 TAMPERING WITH SOUND NARRATIONS. The principles of hadith and jurisprudence [usul al-hadith and usül al-fiqh] are particularly singled out as prerequisites for the field of hadith. The subject matter that we are dealing with is not so simple that it can be explained to all people. There are many other such incidents mentioned in the books of the hadith scholars. it will be a cause of turmoil [fitna] . who may not possess the full intellectual capacity needed to grasp these extremely complex issues. the common laypeople are unable to fathom what is being said. This creates contradictions between the narrations.. This is why the scholars have prohibited the explanation of certain complicated issues to the laymen. nor does every individual have the capacity to grasp its reality. many of which are not worth delving into before a mainstream audience. a hadith was added into the books of Mu’ammar by one of his nephews who converted to the Rafidi sect. but a malicious or antagonistic person tampers with his writings and brings about certain changes. “The annihilation of the Bani Isrã’il was also triggered by their indulging in (baseless) sermons. Many a time.
and these led to differences in their schools of thought as well. Every one of them realized that certain narrators may be acceptable to one of them and not acceptable to the others. This is why the Imams of jurisprudence had differences in their views. Imam Bukhãri selected the hadiths compiled in his book from a collection of six hundred thousand hadiths. such sifting through the volumes of hadiths was obviously bound to bring in its wake differences of opinion among the Imams. they are also intellectually compatible. many weak narrations found their way into the book compiled by Imam Daraquni because he compiled his collection of hadiths at a much later stage. and Imam Bukhãri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates something to this effect from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. On that note. we will now briefly explain the reasons which led to the differences of opinion among the Imams of jurisprudence. and Imam Abu Dãwüd from a total of five hundred thousand hadiths. due to the aforementioned reasons for the differences in narrations. Weak Hadiths in the Later Generations In our times. For example. However. Eighteen reasons were mentioned from the first era and eight from the second era. separating the preponderant [ràjih] from the preponderated [marjuh] and the abrogating hadiths [nasikh] from the abrogated [mansukh]. PART THREE .38 to them. The era of the four mujtahid Imams predates even the era of Imam Bukhäri. in fact there may not be any. This is one of the main reasons why there are so few weak narrations. They have separated the fabricated from the authentic and distinguished the reliable from the unreliable. or that a narrator may be considered reliable by one of them and not by the others.” Imam Muslim (may Allah be pleased with him) has also mentioned this in the introduction to his book. I will now terminate the discussion of the differences of opinion in the second era. On the other hand. Apart from these reasons being obvious. they sifted through all the reliable narrations. SUMMARY OF THE DIFFERENCES IN THE SECOND ERA At this juncture. a fact which is quite natural and acceptable. in Imam Bukhäri’s Collection. This was so because he lived during the second century. differences in the actual texts of the narrations also increased. Thereafter. Imam Muslim selected his from a collection of three hundred thousand.. The main objective of this section was to demonstrate the reasons contributing to the vast differences found in the hadiths. As time went along and the links in the chains of narrators increased. This is why there were fewer weak hadiths in their era. They selected all the reliable [mu'tabar] narrations and rejected the fabricated and unreliable ones. the Imams of hadith and jurisprudence [fiqh] realized the urgent need for sifting through all the hadiths. In conclusion. these have no longer remained very sensitive issues because the scholars of hadith have already sifted through the hadiths. and he preceded Imam Bukhâri. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was the last of the four Imams. and there were not so many differences in the narrations as we have today. and owing to the appearance of many weak narrations.
THE ERA OF THE MUJTAHID IMAMS & SOME PRINCIPLES OF HADITH AND JURISPRUDENCE
THE MAIN REASON FOR THE DIFFEENCES BETWEEN THE IMAMS
As explained in the previous section, there were some changes made on the part of the narrators in reporting their hadiths. These changes were either intentional or unintentional, and occurred (within the narration itself) either in transmitting, or in a person’s understanding of the narration. To account for this, a need was felt by the Imams of hadith and jurisprudence to assess all the narrations and choose some of the narrations over the others. The Imams awarded preference to the correct and reliable narrations based on their own research. At the same time, they rendered the unreliable narrations unworthy of implementation. It is an accepted fact that the opinions of the mujtahids are extracted from the teachings of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Often, their views were extracted from the explicit texts of the Shari'a. At times, certain injunctions were deduced on the basis of a particular cause found in the speech of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). In short, specific rules and principles are required for practicing on the hadiths which enable one to award preference to some hadiths over others. The Imams of hadith and jurisprudence have differed over the matter of which principles apply in awarding this preference. It is a very lengthy discussion which we would prefer not to discuss in detail (here). In fact, the principles of hadith and jurisprudence are taught even before the major hadith books in our madrasas.
Some Principles of Hadith TYPES OF HADITHS
Some of these principles will be mentioned briefly. The Imams of hadith, due to the aforementioned reasons, have divided the hadiths into three different categories: mutawatir [continuously recurrent], mashhür [well-known], and khabaral-wahid [a single person’s report] or ahãd [solitary hadith]. A mutawatir hadith is one for which the narrators are so numerous in any given era that it is virtually impossible for such a large number of people to agree on a fabrication or an error. Examples of this include the existence of Bombay and Calcutta, the number of rak'ats in salat, or the number of fasts (to be observed in Ramadan). The second type of hadith is called mashhür. This category is similar to mutawatir in some respects, but since there is very little or no difference of opinion regarding these two types of hadiths, we will not discuss them in much detail here. The only difference of opinion lies in the number of narrators required for a mutawatir narration and
whether a mashhür narration should be classified in the category of mutawatir or khabar al-wahid, or whether it should be a separate category. At this juncture, we only wish to discuss the third type of hadith, i.e. khabar al-wahid. This category refers to those hadiths which do not reach the standards of mutawatir. Most narrations fall under this category. First of all, this type of narration is divided into two types: accepted [maqbul] and rejected [mardud]. The great hadith master Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani says, “Besides mutawatir hadiths—which are undoubtedly acceptable—all other types of hadiths can be divided into two categories: maqbul and mardud. Maqbul is that type of hadith upon which practicing is obligatory. Mardud is that hadith the reliability of which supersedes its unreliability. Therefore, a hadith which is comprised of contradictory angles, in other words some angles pointing to its authenticity and reliability and others indicating its unreliability, will fall under the category of rejected [mardud]. However, if the angles warranting its acceptability are predominant then the hadith will fall under the category of reliable [maqbul]." Thereafter, Ibn Hajar says that a rejected [mardüd] hadIth is not necessary to practice upon [wäjib al-’amal]. However, acceptable [maqbul] hadiths are of two types: those that are necessary to practice upon [wãjib a1-’amal] and those that are not necessary to practice upon [ghayr wäjib a1-àmaI]. In other words, a hadith can technically be an accepted hadith [maqbul], but due to some reason or another it is not necessary to practice upon it. Ibn Hajar further states, “At times an accepted hadith is not necessary to practice upon in spite of it being an accepted hadith, because of its contradiction with another hadith. In such a case, both hadiths will be compared to see if some harmony can be brought about between both. For instance, the scholars have brought about some harmony in the following two contradictory hadiths. The first hadith states, ‘There is no such thing as contagious 51 52 diseases in Islam,’ while another hadith states, ‘Flee from a leper as you would flee from a lion.’ There is an apparent contradiction between these two hadiths, (though) both of them are authentic and reliable. The scholars have brought about some harmony between these two hadiths in various forms. Our aim at this juncture is not to elaborate on their opinions. All we wish to say is that where there is an apparent contradiction, the first and foremost step will be to bring about some harmony between them. Conversely, if no harmony can be brought about between them, then we will assess whether one has precedence over the other, either in terms of its date or its occurrence. If this can be established, then the latter of the two will be accepted and practiced upon. If this is not possible, we would search for an external reason to grant preference to one over the other. However, if this proves futile, both narrations—in spite of being authentic—would be included in the category of rejected [mardud] hadiths, because of their apparent contradiction.
THE BASIS OF REJECTION AND PREFERENCE
At this juncture, two points have attracted lengthy discussions from the scholars: the basis of rejection, i.e. the causes that render a hadith weak and unreliable; and the basis of preference. In other words, on what basis will one narration have preference over another in the case of two narrations that, in spite of being apparently contradictory, are both authentic?
Under these two extensive points of discussion, there have obviously been many other minor differences of opinion among the scholars. This is evident from the rules mentioned above. Let us examine the case of two apparently contradictory hadiths. These two hadiths will not necessarily be considered contradictory to every single knowledgeable person. In fact, at the very outset, the meaning of one of the two hadiths, according to a mujtahid, may not be contradictory to the other hadith. However, even if there is some contradiction between the hadiths, it does not necessarily mean that there cannot be some harmony brought about between them. There is a possibility, according to some people that harmony can be brought between them, though others may disagree. Once it is established that harmony cannot be brought about between them, it is obvious that differences of opinion are bound to occur regarding which of the hadiths should be given preference over the other. This is so because there is a possibility that one of the mujtahids will present such an analysis that renders one of them to be the latter category [nasikh], thereby abrogating the other. On the other hand another mujtahid may not reach such a conclusion. However, if it cannot be established that one is the abrogator and the other is the abrogated, then once again differences of opinion will occur as to whether one of the two narrations can be preferred over the other due to certain other reasons. We will discuss this briefly at a later stage. Such differences of perspective among the mujtahids are quite natural and understandable. For instance, a narrator narrates a hadith. Zayd considers the narrator to be a reliable person while Amr regards the narrator to be a liar. In another case, Zayd considers this narrator to be intelligent, whereas Amr regards him to be dull of perception. There could be many other reasons for these differences of opinion in this case; the narrator’s hadith is acceptable according to Zayd, whereas Amr dismisses him as unreliable. In short, due to the aforementioned reasons, many differences of opinion have occurred among the Imams of hadith and jurisprudence [fiqh] in many of the by-laws of Islam. Our objective in briefly explaining this is to expose the reasons for the differences of opinion among the scholars. In these circumstances, one has either of two alternatives. The first is that he has the capability to assess all the reasons for the differences of opinion and he is in a position to award preference to one over the other and practice accordingly. He has the authority to do this and, Allah-willing, he will be rewarded for his efforts. Such a person is referred to as a mujtahid. On the other hand, if he does not have this capability to grant preference to some of those opinions over others, the next option is to follow a knowledgeable person. Even under normal everyday circumstances, if a person does not know the road, he tends to follow someone who knows. However, before following anybody, one should examine the person he is following. Is he himself aware, or is he lost like his followers? If a person changes his leader at every cross-road, there is nothing but misguidance in store for him. This is why the scholars have compelled the masses to follow one particular scholar, and they have prohibited them from following various scholars at random.
ASSESSMENT OF A NARRATOR
Nonetheless, due to the aforementioned reasons, the scholars have differed greatly on two different aspects of the hadiths.
they are as follows: (1) He narrates incorrectly in most cases.g. The five relating to his reliability are as follows: (1) He is a liar. However. there are many other angles from which the scholars have differed over which factors would render a hadith weak. For example. Apart from these. Hence. (3) He is a flagrant violator of Islamic law [fasiq]. Hence. they have differed on the basis of assessment [ta'n] of a narrator. (2) He has a tendency to be negligent when narrating. (4) He narrates contrary to other reliable narrators. it is not an absolute rule that wherever a narrator is removed from the chain. (4) He is guilty of reprehensible innovation [bid'ati].42 First. this may be true according to the opinion of some people while others may consider him to be truthful and consider the error to be that of other narrators (in the chain). For example. (3) He has misgivings about his narration. according to some scholars. does it really mean that he has that deficiency? For example. The hadith scholars have counted ten different reasons for the defectiveness of a hadith. One group may consider certain points as contributing to the weakness of a hadith. First of all. another group of scholars may not consider these points as factors that weaken a hadith. in other words. (2) He is accused of lying.g. he is a fornicator) or it could be in speech (e. (5) He is unknown. As for the five relating to his memory. if a narrator is accused of speaking lies. The scholars have differed on the aforementioned ten factors from two different angles. Five of these are related to a narrator’s reliability ['adala]. according to others. (5) His memory becomes impaired. The scholars will first examine who the missing link is. they have differed as to how these factors will render a hadith weak. wherever one of those points is found in any of the hadith. If a narrator is accused of having one of the above ten defects. will this render his narration unconditionally weak. on what grounds a hadith can be considered untenable. that hadith will be considered weak and the injunction that hadith mentions will not be established On the other hand. This could either be in deed (e. there are other angles of differences among the scholars. the hadith is weak. if a narrator is guilty of reprehensible innovation [bid'ati]. the hadiths that contain these points are not weak . if a narrator removes one of the links from the chain of narrators. There is more detail to this point. or will his narration be unacceptable only when he narrates according to his innovation [bid'a]? The second angle from which the scholars have differed deals with whether or not a narrator actually possesses the defect mentioned about hint. while the other five are related to his memory [hifz]. he is thereby considered unreliable and the hadith is rendered weak. Is he a Companion or is he someone else? They will also examine the person who removed that link: is he reliable or unreliable? Similarly.. he is a backbiter).
. My heart desires to write more in detail on this subject.” There are also other factors which render a hadith unreliable. but since this is an academic topic which would bore the average layman. are not led astray. act contrary to it. This would ensure that ordinary people. one of the major reasons for the difference of opinion found among the mujtahids is that different Imams have different criteria for establishing the reliability of a hadith. These are placed under the heading Bäb al-Sunna [Chapter on the Sunna] in the books on principles of jurisprudence [usül al-fiqh]. All of these factors can lead to a fatal deficiency in their faith [din]. and that they do not develop any evil thoughts about the hadiths. The author of the Tadhkira writes. Until a person has knowledge about them. the mujtahids felt a need to establish a set of principles to assess the validity of a hadith. and the injunctions mentioned in those narrations will be established on the basis of those hadiths. At the same time. This set of principles will differ from the principles set up by the Imams of hadith. This enables the student to understand the reasons why some hadiths have been disregarded. it is not permissible for him to practice upon the hadiths directly. he will understand why scholars. And Allah guides whom He wills to the straight path. Some Principles of Fiqh PRINCIPLES OF THE JURISTS FOR THE VALIDITY OF HADITHS The jurists [fuqaha’] have composed a set of rules for the assessment of the validity of a hadith. who zealously read the hadiths in translations because they are the speech of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) .43 according to them. in spite of an explicit proposition appearing in a hadith. “There is a very intricate and difficult issue in the field of hadith that.. It would also ensure that they do not become disinclined to the juridical rulings [masa‘il fiqhiyya]. This is why the scholars of hadith consider it imperative to teach the principles of hadith [usul al-hadith] before teaching the actual books of hadith. THE INDISPNSABILITY OF THE PRINCIPLES OP HADITHS To sum up. This is why it has always been my fervent desire to request that the people who teach the translations of the hadiths would at least teach a brief summary on the principles of hadith. and many other pious people have misunderstood the meaning of the hadiths. I have tried to be as brief as possible. since the fabricators and the preachers have fabricated many hadiths.
Similarly. which will enable us to recognize the necessity of understanding the hadiths. (2) he should be sane. Is a certain word taken literally. that a person should be of a sound memory means that he heard the hadith with complete attention. and so forth). Abdullãh did not consider this narration worthy of establishing as an injunction. it could have more than one meaning. if the narrator is perceptive and discerning (for example. there are four conditions for the reliability of a narrator: (1) he should be a Muslim. if a hadith of this nature is illogical. the narrator is one of the Four Caliphs. However. According to the Mãliki school of thought.44 We will briefly explain a few principles of the Hanafi school (in this regard). Mutawatir hadiths have already been explained [see page 39]. a certain word in the Qur’än may be common or general. or is it optional or is the statement giving permission to perform this action? One has to be well-versed in all these principles which deal with the significance of the Qur’an and hadith. and he understands the meaning of the hadith while listening to it. dismissed his narration by asking. one has to be well-versed in the principles that deal exclusively with the 5adiths. Abdullah ibn Abbãs. However. According to the Hanafi school of thought. A’isha the Truthful. The scholars have differed greatly as to whether the latter type of hadiths compels one to act upon it or not. For instance. mashhür or khabar al-wahid. These principles are divided into a few categories. according to the Hanafi school of thought. Mu'ãdh ibn Jabal. but the other narrators who are narrating from him are reliable.. Khabar al-wähid refers to that type of hadith which fails to reach the status of mutawatir right up to the last set of narrators. then he will also be considered as a known narrator and his narration will be accepted. For example. while at other times it is not. or it could be confined to a certain meaning only. but after them the number of narrators reached the level of mutawãtir. “If water heated over fire is used for wudu. Abdullãh ibn Masüd. These chains render a narration mutawatir. This is why when Abü Hurayra said that the consumption of anything cooked over fire nullifies wudu. that a person should not be a fasiq means that he should not perpetrate major sins. Each one of these conditions is mentioned in detail in its appropriate place. Abdullãh ibn alZubayr. Mashhur is that type of hadith of which the narrators were only one or two individuals from the era of the Companions. he remembers it while he conveys it. . nor should he be guilty of consistently perpetrating minor sins. will it be necessary to repeat 53 the wudu’?” Hence. Abdullãh ibn Umar Abdullãh ibn Abbs. at times it is necessary to act upon them. The scholars of the principles (of jurisprudence) have clearly stated that just as a certain amount of knowledge is required for the understanding of the Qur’an. Zayd ibn Thãbit. (3) his memory should be sound. These principles will also expose how unaware the so-called “followers of hadiths” are. If the narrator of any hadith is unknown in the field of hadith. whether it is logical or illogical. there is also a need to understand the rules and principles of hadith study [usül al-fiqh]. if the narrator is not as well-known in the field of jurisprudence [fiqh]. However. The first of these categories deals with the chains of narrators linking us to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). his narration will not be accepted if the narration is contrary to other more rational narrations. In exactly the same way. it is not necessary to practice upon it. and (4) he should not be a flagrant violator of Islamic law [fasiq]. then that type of hadith will compel us to practice upon it. or does it have a figurative meaning as well? Is a certain order given as a command.
as well as the issue of when a hadith is worthy of establishing as an injunction and when it is not. if there is only one witness. “Judgment can be passed with one witness and an oath. The scholars have differed on this issue.” This hadith apparently falls in contradiction to the general verse of the Qur’an. his hadith is considered dubious. either among the Companions or the other narrators. or he issues religious verdicts [fatawa] against his own narration. if a narrator refutes his own narration. the scholars have labeled it an interruption. As for the person who is unaware of both. The only person who will be able to come to some decision is the one who is wholly aware of the standards and principles set out by both of these groups. at first glance. This is why the scholars say that the hadith in question has an hidden form of interruption in it. For example. This has contributed greatly to a difference of opinion among the Imams with regard to the hadiths. In addition. The specialists dealing with the principles of hadith have divided interruption into two types: apparent [zahiri] interruption and hidden [batini] interruption. they infer their own judgments. Apparent interruption means that a link is missing in the chain of narrators.” On the basis of the latter narration. a hidden interruption. while the same hadith will be rejected by the others because it does not conform to their established standards. he—as the Persians would say—’himself is astray. Similarly. This is why many scholars do not include it in the category of interruption. One hadith may be accepted by some scholars because it reaches the standards set by them. For example. Whoever wishes to do so should consult their books. an oath will be taken by the plaintiff in place of the other witness and a judgment can still be passed. Likewise. if the Companions do not accept a certain hadith and. I do not wish to lengthen this subject. or he acts in contrary to his own narration. but due to their penetrative insight and their respect to the hadiths. this hadith is contrary to an authentic hadith which specifies.” In other words. etc. The specialists of the principles of hadith have analyzed this matter in great detail. there is a hadith that states.) and if he is unable to do so. “Salat is not permitted without Surat 54 al-Fatiha. this is proof enough that the narration is a bit dubious. all the Imams—whether they are Imams of jurisprudence or hadith—have a specific set of rules for assessing whether or not a hadith should be practiced upon. the first hadith would not be acceptable.45 The second category deals with the succession [ittisal] and interruption [inqita'] of a hadith. It is not exactly an interruption. However. so how can he guide others?“ . if a narrator relates only a part of a famous incident and omits the other portion.. instead of the compulsory two witnesses required in court. following discussion among themselves. there is a hadith that says. “A plaintiff is compelled to produce evidence (in the form of witnesses. “Read from the Qur'an whatever is possible for you [ma tayassara]” (Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20). This form of interruption could also be due to a particular hadith being contrary to a more famous authentic hadith. THE MOST BASIC REASON FOR DIFFERENCES In short. This hidden (or rather esoteric) form of interruption can be due to many reasons. the defendant should take an oath. It could be because the hadith is contrary to the Qur’an. this indicates that the hadith is not acceptable. The second form of interruption is called.
However.. I do not have any complaint against them. ordinary laymen. one of the chief reasons for the differences of opinion among the Imams is the basis of preference. for instance. and Kashf al-ghumma. alMizan of Allãma Sharäni. They are actually disguising the truth and deceiving the Umma. The masses of those who do not follow a school of thought are. provoke the masses into believing that those who do follow a school of thought do not give much weight to a hadith that is in opposition to the opinions of the Imams. unlearned Muslim would accept the opinion of a great scholar if it were contrary to the hadiths of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). which will elucidate the fact that the opinions of the Imarns are all extracted from the’verses of the Qur’an and the 1iadiths: Only the method of inferring differs. In short. in spite of knowing what is right. or reinterpreted.. However. Not even an ordinary.46 Quite frankly. salat of the person who has nullified his wudü’ until he performs wudu” On the grounds of this hadith the scholars are unanimous that the passing of urine. stool. . I am surprised at the people who do not follow any particular school of thought [ghayr muqallidin] who. However. baseless. Bidayat al-mujtahid. pre-coital fluid. invalidate the wudu. after all. “The basis for the factors which invalidate wudü’ is the verse ‘[. Kitãb al-Mughni.] or if any one of you comes after relieving oneself or you touched women’ and the hadith ’Allàh does not accept the. The only difference lies in the deduction and inferring of rulings [masa’il]. it is quite obvious that when it comes to bringing about harmony between two apparently contradictory hadiths or awarding preference to one over the other. This is an accepted fact. in spite of having knowledge. and to refute it is tantamount to unfairness and injustice. It does not befit their eminence to act contrary to the hadiths. there are seven other factors upon which the scholars have differed in this issue. are quite aware of the fact that the opinions of the Imams are all extracted from the very teachings of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). The group that prefers a certain hadith might consider another hadith contrary to it as defective. of one of the chapters of Ibn Rushd’s Bidayat al-mujtahid. etc. I do have a complaint against the people of knowledge who. Those people who have studied books dealing with the subject of the differences of the imams. Some narrations may be preferred by one group of Imams while other narrations may be preferred by another group of Imams. Examples of the Multi -Faceted Methods of Inference Ibn Rushd says. the opinions of the four revered Imams will take preference over the contemporary scholars... conceal the truth from the masses. The Four Schools of Fiqh THE OPINIONS OF THE IMAMS ARE ALL FROM THE HADTHS The status of the Imams is extremely exalted. We will reproduce in brief a portion. wind.
These differences appeared among the scholars because there are conflicting narrations regarding sleep. if any abnormal substance emerges from any of the private parts. but is confined to what is actually mentioned. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. a woman suffering from dysfunctional uterine bleeding [istihada] should also make wudu'. On the other hand. the Imams have differed in the narrations as well. One group of scholars considers the emission of impurity to be the cause of the breaking of the wudü’. there is another narration that mentions certain Companions sleeping in the masjid. according to them. such as a worm or insect. because the cause (for nullifying the wudu i. according to Imam Mãlik (may Allah be pleased with him). Similarly. The scholars have three different opinions on this matter.47 First. they have differed over the impure substances that are emitted by parts of the body other than the private parts. A group of Companions was also inclined to this view. They are of the opinion that the emission of any normal substance from any of the two private parts. sleep does not nullify the wudu’. the emission of any impurity from any part of the body invalidates the wudu such as bleeding of the nose. in good health or due to some illness or the other. vomiting. and then perform the salat without making wudu’. he performed. They hold that the emission of impurity invalidates the wudu regardless of which part of the body emits it. Some of them are of the opinion that sleep unconditionally breaks the wudü while others assert that sleep does not nullify the wudü’ under any circumstance. The people who hold this view are Imam Abü HanIfa and his school. while at other times it will not affect the wudü’ at all. whatever comes out of the private parts. He considers the excess wudü’ for this woman to be an unfounded practice. and Imam Shãfi'i (may Allah be pleased with them) maintain that even though the hadith only mentions. salãt without performing wadu'. The third group is of the opinion that sleep will break the wudü’ at certain times only. according to them. However.. pre-coital fluid [madhy]. the wudu’ wi1l be invalidated. Imam Abü Hanifa. the hadiths which mention a woman who suffers from dysfunctional uterine bleeding performing wudü’ are reinterpreted or found to be defective by him. etc.e. and their narrations support this view. since they differed over the actual cause of the breaking of the wudü they subsequently differed over which rules are applicable to the factors that invalidate wudu’. and no matter how it comes out. etc. The very same verse has been employed by all four Imams in extracting the juridical rulings [masã’il] on wudu However. This is so. “whatever comes out of the two private parts” this is merely a sort of prototype or example. Hence. the emission of impurity) is present. The injunction is a general one. According to this group. will not apply to anything that comes out of any other part of the body. there are three schools of thought among the scholars. They used to nap while waiting for salat. It is not necessary to remove the leather socks (to make wudü’) after passing urine or . blood-letting. When he awoke. However.. Another group of scholars consider the emission of anything from the private parts as the cause of the breaking of wudu’. The second aspect of discussion regarding the aforementioned verse on the factors which invalidate wudü’ is sleep. Due to these differences in principles. the wudü’ will still be intact. They also take support from the hadiths which mention that such a woman performs wudu’. Hence. This rule. invalidates the wudu’. according to them. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. the command in this verse is not general. According to some narrations. This view is held by Imam Mãlik (may Allah be pleased with him) and his school. and Sufyan al-Thawri (may Allah be pleased with them all). Hence. there are many other narrations in contrast to this Safwan ibn Assal narrates that the Messenger of Allah said. This view is held by Imam Shãfi'i ‘(may Allah be pleased with him) and his school The third group has taken into account the emitted substances as well as the place of emission. whether it is blood or pebbles. Ibn Abbãs says that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) once went to Maymuna’s house and slept so deeply that they heard him snoring. Regarding this. such as urine.
this is a general rule: the wudu’ remains intact despite all types of touching. The third issue of contention between the scholars is whether the touching of a woman invalidates the wudü’ or not. This group has again been divided into two. the Imams differed over what sort of injunction should be extracted from this verse as well. The word “lams” has a dual meaning in the Arabic language. On one occasion. Every one of these Imams has some proof or basis to substantiate his assertion. Among the Imams. while the second group awards preference to the second category of hadiths. a man’s wudu’ is unconditionally broken. Finally. according to the others.48 stool. Some types of sleep will invalidate the wudu’ while the others will not. Some of them have taken up the path of granting preference to one narration over the other. This is the view of Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with him). Within this group. Wiping [masah] over them is quite sufficient. the Messenger (PBUH) used to move her feet away to enable him to perform sajda (since the room was very small). the Messenger of Allah was performing tahajjud salat in total darkness. if one touches without lust. either in salat or outside of salat. the third group does not find any preferential factor to favor any one of the categories over the other. there is a difference of opinion as to whether this injunction is general or restricted. Allah says. the question arises as to whether all types of touching nullify the wudü’. This is what prompted the three differing schools of thought among the Companions and Followers . or after sleeping. “Wudu’ is obligatory upon one who lies down and sleeps. the verse refers to sexual intercourse. At that time there was no lamp or any source of light in his house. This is so because of another hadith in which ‘A’isha says. this verse is dealing with the factors which invalidate wudu and the word “lams” refers to touching a woman. this verse does not deal with the factors which invalidate wudu’. Hence. Imam Abü Hanifa and Imam Mãlik (may Allah be pleased with them) prove their opinions with the following narration: A’isha relates that on many occasions Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to touch her.” The scholars have assumed two different stances on these narrations. Consequently. “If you touched [lamastum] a woman” (Surat al-mã’ida 5:6). once again. Aisha was sleeping in front of him and whenever he wanted to go into prostration [sajda].. by merely touching a woman. For instance. According to some of them. He restricts it to lust. They maintain that the wudü’ is broken only if there is touching by lust. According to the Mãlikis. One group is of the opinion that if a man touches a woman without anything separating them both." Similarly. it is a homonym [mushtarak]. Abu Hurayra narrates. otherwise it will remain intact. wiping will not suffice in a state of major impurity [janaba]. or only specific types of touching. while the third opinion is held by Imam Abü Hanifa (may Allah be pleased with them all). . some of them have found more angles of awarding preference to the first category of hadiths. The second group asserts that this rule is not unconditional. According to the third group of scholars. “At times Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to kiss his wives and. However. his wudü’ is broken. or rather. According to the Hanafis. This issue has remained one of debate even among the Companions.” Obviously. Therefore. the wudü’ remains intact under all circumstances if one touches a woman. According to the Shãfi'is. Therefore. It refers to sexual intercourse as well as literal touching with the hand. Imam Shafi'i holds the first opinion and Imain Mãlik is of the second opinion. The very basis for the differences found among these Imams regarding this issue is that the word Lams or “touching” (in the verse) is ambiguous. this kissing stems from lust because a person generally kisses his wife out of desire. and he did not repeat his wudu’ after that. the injunction is general. they have brought about harmony between the hadiths by dividing sleep into various categories. the wudü’ is not nullified. without performing wudü’ he used to observe his salat. However. Imam Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) is of the opinion that this is a restricted injunction. Only when a person touches with lust will his wudü’ become invalid. From this it is deduced that touching a woman does not nullify the wudu’ Now.
Similarly. there are bound to be differences in practicing upon the narrations as well. all these differences found among the Imams stem from the differences found in the narrations. Daraqutni (may Allah be pleased with them all) are some of the few hadith scholars who ventured into this field. the same narration may not reach the required stage of reliability according to another Imam. The metaphor for this is a sick person who seeks the treatment of various doctors. the main reason for the differences among the Imams stems from their analysis and evaluation of the various hadiths. In exactly the same manner. Imam Bukhãri. This is why a very small group of people has ventured into this field. ‘Allãma Suyutii (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his Tadrib al-rawi. he can ascertain whether it is genuine or artificial. He further writes. From all the various branches of the field of hadith. as I have explained in detail in previous chapters. Together with this. one hadith may be regarded as authentic according to the research of one Imam. The moment he sets eyes on the gold. . The eighteenth type of hadith is the defective [mu'allal] hadith. the second Imam does not consider that hadith strong enough to establish an injunction based on the contents of the narration. trustworthy. the patient who has visited various doctors cannot apply all of their treatments together. while the other might consider it mild. Hãfiz ibn Hajar writes in his Sharh Nukhbat al-fikr. In such circumstances. Allah will assist them.. and truthful. The third doctor might brush it off as a psychological problem. a narrator might be considered unreliable and rejected by some. while others might regard him as reliable. At times.49 In short. One of them might say his illness is fatal. Hence. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Summary of the Above Discussion To sum up. and he considers whatever to be established from it to be obligatory. The Parable of the Imams of Hadith The Imams of hadith have likened the critique of the narrators to that of a bullion dealer. This is further compounded by the various differences regarding the grounds for preference and rejection among the Imams. He only has to take the medication prescribed to him by the doctor he is currently seeing. the most complex and intricate is that of (sifting through) the defective [mu'allal] hadiths. Since the basis of the weakness or reliability of a narration is based upon the conditions of its narrators. neither the doctors nor the Imams of hadith can be criticized. he needs also to be cognizant of the status of all the narrators and extremely knowledgeable of the chain of narrators as well as the actual texts of the hadiths. At times. In reality. Only one gifted by Allah with an ingenious mind and a comprehensive memory can be proficient in this field. For example. However. Only those people who are of perfect memory and proficient in analysis are able to gain some control over this type of hadith. The nurse attending to the sick person or the followers of the Shari‘a will be advised to adhere to whomever they feel is reliable. This type of hadith is the most important and intricate. Hlikim al-Naysãburi states. Obviously. and he will not consider it an illness at all. these differences are quite in order and are completely logical. the hadith scholar relating the deficiency in a hadith does not explicitly specify whether any injunction can be deduced from the hadith or not. Ali ibn al-Madini.
This could be either due to the narrator being alone in the narration of this hadith. a hadith is considered defective [mu’allal] even though there may not be any apparent factors rendering the hadith as such. comprehension.” This person did accordingly and he found this to be true. the above discussion.bearing narrations. “When you take your coins to a bullion dealer. many deficient so. their inferences are not reliable). How do you go about determining this?” He replied. besides the ordinary layman. you will understand the reality of it all. A narration demonstrating a certain law might be accepted by one Imam. They primarily extract all the laws from the hadiths of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Hence. According to us the only proof we have for its defectiveness is memory.50 At times. go and inquire from ibn Dara and then from Abü Hãtim. In short.called “intellectuals” are deceptively led to believe that the inferences [ijtihad] of the Imams are contrary to one another (and therefore. They only differ in their angles of inference. There might not be any type of apparent deficiency in the hadith. but there will be some inconspicuous flaw in it. Allãma Nawawi states. INFERENCE IN OUR TIMES In our times.. while another hadith contrary to the first one may be accepted by another Imam. hence. If I tell you that any hadith is defective. It is better for me to learn of the defectiveness [‘illa] of one hadith than to learn ten new hadiths. do you ask him why he considers some of them to be genuine and some to be counterfeit? In actual fact. or due to other reasons which the knowledgeable are aware of. as explained in. and deep understanding of the hadiths. I have also explained that differences are obviously going to be found in their editing as well as their compilations. Ibn Mahdi states. one builds up this proficiency. he accepts what it says. The second Imam considers the second hadith authentic. or due to his narration being contradictory to other narrators. My only objective is to expose the fact that the Imams have differed mainly because of the apparent contradictions found in the narrations. “On what grounds do you consider same of the hadiths to be weak?” He replied.” Abu Zur’a was once asked. In spite of the inferences of the Imams being in contrast to one another. If they tell you the same thing. The Imams of jurisprudence [fiqh] are likened to doctors and . The defectiveness [‘lila] of a hadith is a reference to a very subtle type of deficiency in a hadith. “At times you consider some hadiths weak and some of them to be authentic. Ibn Mahdi was once asked. acquaintance with sacred knowledge [‘ilm] is a thing of the past. I do not wish to encompass all their opinions in this regard. the main reason for the differences found among the Imams is due to the difference of the status they give to the law. due to excessive exposure with the hadiths and constant sifting through them. it does not mean that they make inference [ijtihad] of the Islamic by-laws according to their own whims and fancies without any proof and basis.
while proceeding toward ruku' and while rising from it. (Hence. it would be foolish to object as to why a certain Imam has rejected a certain narration. I feel it is necessary to mention it separately in a bit more detail because this is one of the major reasons contributing to the differences found among the Imams. after thirteen hundred (now fourteen hundred) years. “There are only three links of narrators between me and Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) in the hadith I have narrated. it is their profession to accept or reject a narration. and Imam Ibn Maja. Memorizing a hadith is one thing. Abü Bakr Ibn al-Arabi (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his commentary of Sunan al-Tirmidhi. Sufyan ibn 'Uyayna says Imam’Abü Hànifa and Imam Awza'i (may Allah be pleased with them) once met in one of the bazaars of the blessed city of Makka. I will merely explain this briefly in the form of an example. it is not possible for us to determine whether the narrations that we have before us have exactly the same chain of narrators as the narrations of the people of the past. As for the final link in my chain of narrators—Abdullah ibn Mas'ud—there s no need to mention his virtues. “If there are any contradictions in the views of Ibn Mas'ud and Ibn ‘Umar.” Upon this. The second angle of differences found between the Imams of jurisprudence is due to their various reasons for the preference of a hadith. salat except at the beginning of the salat while observing the opening takbir [tahrima]. comparing the two chains of narrators. Imam Awzã'i commented. what about those that came after them. “Why do yeu—the Hanafis—not observe the raising of the hands [raf' al-yadain] while proceeding toward rukü' and while rising from ruku’ Imam Abu Hanifa replied.51 bullion dealers. “Hammäd narrates from Ibrãhim al-Nakh'ay and he in turn from ‘Alqama and Aswad and they narrate from Ibn Mas'ud that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would not raise his hands in. what status do they hold relative to the Imams? In spite of their magnificence in the field of hadith. like Imam Abu Dãwud.. One may study the works of the four famous Imams and get an understanding of the reality of this topic.” . If Ibn Umar has the virtue of being a Companion.” Imam Awza'i was thereupon compelled to remain silent.)” Thereupon Imam Abü Hanifa. Nor is it possible for us to verify whether the reasons for the rejection of a certain hadith which we are aware of. Imam Awzã'i said to Imam Abü Hanifa. then Alqama also has certain virtues.” Imam Abü Hanifa replied.. like Daraquni and Bayhaqi. the status and era of the Imams precedes that of Imam Bukhãri and Imam Muslim. In other words. As for those who came even after them. Today. “We do not observe this because its veracity is not established from Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Moreover. or which Imam Bukhãri or Imam Muslim mention. Ibrãhim Nakh'ay is also superior to Sälim and Alqama is also not inferior to Ibn Umar in jurisprudence. Imam Tirmidhi. then the view of Ibn Mas’üd will be awarded preference. are the only reasons for the rejection of that hadith. or whether there were any other reasons for its rejection. they had no option in the field of jurisprudence [fiqh] but to follow one of the Imams. whereas there are four links in the hadith you have narrated. Imam Nasa’i. what are their reasons for awarding preference to one of the two conflicting narrations? This is also a very lengthy discussion. In spite of two apparently conflicting hadiths being authentic. there are differences among the Imams regarding the preference of one narration over the other. “Hammãd is amore superior jürist [faqih] than Zuhri." Imam Awzã’i thereupon narrated the following hadith: “Zuhri narrates from Sãlim and he in turn from Ibn Umar that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) used to observe the raising of the hands while commencing the salat. but to extract a juridical proposition or injunction from that hadith is another matter altogether. the shorter link of narrators renders my hadith more authentic. said. Hence. If this is the case with these two Imams. Even though this was mentioned in brief in a previous chapter.
the Hanafis award preference to those hadiths which conform more closely to this form of tranquillity. the narration of a jurist [faqih] is awarded preference over the other. . “And stand before Allah with ease and tranquillity” (Surat al-Baqara 2:238). according to Imam Mãlik (may Allah be pleased with him). because the words of many of the hadiths are not the actual words of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). For example. According to the principles of the Hanafi school. there is no need to analyze its chain of narrators. as opposed to those which have less. that hadith will be awarded preference over the others. preference is awarded to a narration according to the degree of-expertise in jurisprudence among the chain of narrators. the Hanafi school of thought awards preference to those hadiths which have a weaker chain of narrators or even to those hadiths whose chains of narration may not be as superior to the others. they are the words of the narrators who narrated the meaning of the hadith. the narration with the shorter link of narrators is awarded preference over the narration with the longer chain. According to Imam Awzâ'i and also according to the Shäfi'is. This sounds quite logical because the more intelligent a narrator. Häzimi has mentioned fifty such factors in his book Kitab al-Nasikh wa ‘l-mansukh. Those who claim to follow the hadiths directly are urged to analyze the hadiths thoroughly and determine which of the apparently conflicting hadiths have more preferential factors than the others. This is quite evident from his book Al-Muwatta'. the Hanafis award preference to the narration that does not mention raising of the hands in salat over the narration which does mention it. The practice of the people of Madina Munawwara is (to him) a preferential factor. This is so simply because the Holy Qur’an declares. This is so because the narrations may possess some other more superior preferential factors. if there is a contradiction found between two narrations. if there is a contradiction between some hadiths and the practice of the people of Madina Munawwara conforms to any one of them.” There are many factors by which some hadiths are awarded preference over others. the fact that a hadith is in greater conformance with the text of the Qur’an is one of the most noteworthy preferential factors that render a particular hadith superior to those that contradict it. On the other hand. from among the conflicting narrations. However. The Mãliki scholar Ibn al-Arabi writes in the commentary of Sunan al-Tirmidhi.52 My aim in quoting this debate between these two scholars is merely to expose the reasons for preference that each one of them held. Obviously. the narration which is in greater conformance to the text of the Qur’an will obviously gain more preference over the other narration. This will enable them to practice upon the hadiths which have more preferential factors. In most cases. “It is a principle of the Mäliki school of thought that if a hadith is popular among the people of Madina Munawwara. the more perfectly he will narrate the hadith. Hence. the words of the Qur’an are the actual words (of Allah) transmitted by the narrators. Therefore. according to Imam Abu Hanifa. from two conflicting narrations. THE APPROACH OF THE HANAFI SCHOOL OF THOUGHT Occasionally.. not all these factors are unanimously agreed upon by all of the various Imams. as explained previously. according to the Hanafi school. Similarly. This makes a great deal of sense. Allama Iraqi enumerated over one hundred such factors in his Kitab al-Nukat. In one example of the above principle.
Mawlanã Yünus. the narrations which do not mention any recitation while performing salat behind the Imam are awarded preference over those narrations which mention this practice. All I wish to add at this point is that it is extremely important for those who claim to follow the hadiths directly to acquaint themselves with the elements that contribute to the weakness of a narration and to understand the factors which render a particular hadith more acceptable than the others. One or two parts were still missing from the original manuscript. it was permissible to speak (and to make salãm) in salat. Hence. During my student days.” in the witr salat because they were considered as two sürats of the Holy Qur’an. but only managed to find rough manuscripts of these pages.53 This ruling is also established from other previous occurrences. the Hanafis are of the opinion that it is better to delay the Fajr and 'Asr prayers. “Before sunrise” and “before sunset” means a time which is close to them. Whenever my friends insisted publish it. I commenced compiling a summary on the basic principles of the Imams and a summary on the factors that render one hadith more acceptable than the others. A period of three to four hours before sunrise or sunset is not normally referred to as being “before” sunrise or “before” sunset. and others had also insisted that this book be published. saying that even an incomplete book of this nature would still be beneficial. Mawlãnã Aqil. . Mawlãnã Salman. However. I was unable to complete it. May Allah grant benefit to him as well as to those who read this book. my friend Mawlãna Aziz unearthed those lost pages from Allah knows where. My other colleagues respected Mufti Mahmüd. the Hanafis have chosen the qunut (a supplication made in the witr salat) of ‘Allahumma inna nastainuka. Without this. There are thousand of examples of this nature. it was also my desire to do so.. the magazine Al-Mazahir was terminated due to a lack of resources. I had lengthy and detailed discussions in mind and I had initially decided to write about four to five hundred pages. during one of my journeys to Hijäz. I had no hope whatsoever of it ever coming into print. Nonetheless. Hence. but in spite of this he insisted on printing it. This is so because of the Qur’anic verse.. EPILOGUE I had written more on this subject. but due to my extremely busy schedule. Furthermore. listen to it attentively and remain silent” (Surat a1-Araf 7:204).) My colleagues insisted’ that I complete this book and. Similarly. In addition. Hence. In the early days of Islam. (‘This was the magazine toward which the author used to contribute articles on this topic. I will leave them out. I used to put them off saying that it is incomplete. but this was gradually abrogated and the salat metamorphosed into a more tranquil action. And Allah is the best of guides. Also. the narrations which conform more to tranquillity are more juridically preferable in the Hanafi school. “And when the Qur’an is being recited.. it is not possible to practice upon the narrations. but out of fear of long-windedness. I permitted Mawlanã Shãhid to go ahead in printing this book. time did not assist me in completing it. “And glorify the praises of your Lord before sunrise and before sunset” (Sura Qaf 50:39). Since this book before you is incomplete. it is better to delay the Fajr and 'Asr prayers because it is in greater conformance with the Qur'anic verse.
al-Bukhäri. Shaykh Yalyã went on to teach at Madrasa Mazahir 'Ulum in the district of Saharanpur. Upon them ended the era of leadership in teaching hadiths. Lineage and Upbringing He was born in the village of Kãndhlã (in Uttar Pradesh. 1315 AH (February 12. Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Sahãranpuri.. whose primary teacher in hadith was Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi.. and extensive knowledge of hadith and related sciences. the scholars of India in the present era.” There is no doubt that Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was among the most distinguished hadith scholars of India and a great contributor in service of the Sunna. India) on Ramadan 10. Shaykh Zakariyya quickly earned the affection of his father’s teacher. he began learning how to read with Hakim ‘Abd al-Rahmãn of Muzaffarnagar He memorized the Qur’an with his father and also studied books in Persian and the introductory . was among the great scholars of India. 1898 CE). As a young boy. Shaykh Zakariyya moved with his father to the village of Gangoh. clear-sightedness. indeed. who recognized his deep insight. this science would have withered away in the eastern cities. His immediate family and his predecessors were distinguished by firm resolve. steadfastness. Such was their mastery of this science that Muhammad Rashid Rida mentions in the introduction of his book Miftah Kunüz al-Sunna. Under him he studied Sahih. but did not accept any payment for his services. His family included many notable scholars .. And.. “Were it not for the superb attention to detail in the science of hadith displayed by our brothers. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi said about him. “Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was born into a household rooted in knowledge and passion for Islam. India has undoubtedly become an important centre for the study of hadith. Jami al-Tirmidhi. and commentary upon its texts [mutun). mastery of this science has been waning in Egypt and Syria since the tenth century AH. His full name was Muhammad Zakariyyã ibn Muhammad Yahya ibn Muhammad Ismãil. He was given the honorary title of Shaykh al-Hadith. and others of the six famous authentic books of hadith [sihãh sitta]. Growing up in this virtuous environment. in the district of Saharanpur. and his lineage continues all the way back to Abu Bakr the great Companion of the Messenger (PBUH) .publishing business. He instead made his living through his own book.. and his grandmother memorized the entire Qur’an while nursing her son [Shaykh Zakariyyã’s father]. or “Great Scholar of Hadith. Shaykh Muhammad Yahya..54 (Mawlãnã) Muhammad Zakariyya 22 Jumada ‘l-Ulã 1391 AH ABOUT THE AUTHOR In the last century. codification of the special fields [funun} of hadith. perseverance. “ His father. Since his father and Shaykh Gangohi had a close relationship. and the scholars of India have become well known for their passion for religious knowledge. and adherence to religion.” by his teacher.
. ‘Although he was one of the youngest teachers at the school. he travelled to Madina Munawwara. under his father. He began teaching Sunan Abi Dawüd. but an exceptional teacher. he showed that he was not only an able. when the shaykh passed away. This indeed opened the door to Shaykh Zakariyya’s authoring many literary works and treatises over the course of his life. 1334 AH. He studied with few but select teachers who reached the highest levels of learning. His deep sorrow remained with him for the rest of his life. and literature. his dear father passed away. In 1341 AH he was assigned to teach three sections of Sahih al-Bukhari upon the insistence of Shaykh KhaliI Ahmad. Shaykh Zakariyya was extremely particular about always studying the hadith narrations with wudu’ On Dhü 'l-Qa'da 10. Shaykh Zakariyya was given the honor of teaching the entire work. he resumed teaching at Mazahir 'Ulüm. and then he studied Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Tirmidhi (for a second time) with the honourable Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Sahãranpüri. He studied five of the six authentic books of hadith with his father.55 Arabic books with his uncle Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas (founder of the Tabligh movement). Teaching Career In Muharram 1335 Al-I he was appointed as a teacher at Madrasa Mazahir 'Ulüm where he was assigned to teach books on Arabic grammar. Shaykh Khalil Ahmad expressed his desire to write Badhl al-Majhud. He worked hard on the project. This event was extremely traumatic for Shaykh Zakariyya. research. he studied under the hadith scholar Khalil Ahmad Sahãranpuri. tackling many classical texts on Arabic morphology grammar. At the age of twelve.. the city of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) . a commentary on Sunan Abi Däwüd. when Shaykh Zakariyyã was just nineteen. Out of his immense respect for hadith. and piety In addition to his father (Shaykh Muhammad Yahya) and uncle (Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas). expanded his insight in the science of hadith. he advanced his study of Arabic. he began working on Awjaz al-Masalik ila Muwatta Imam Malik. and he sought Shaykh Zakariyya’s assistance as his right-hand man. Before his death. as well as a number of primary texts of Islamic jurisprudence. he was selected to teach works generally not assigned to those of his age. Teachers Shaykh Zakariyya was blessed to live and learn in an era considered by many to be one of great achievements in Islamic knowledge by scholars in the Indian subcontinent. This experience revealed Shaykh Zakariyyã’s gift of penmanship and. where he resided for one year. furthermore. as he lost not only a father but also a teacher and mentor. He was twenty-nine at the time. and the second half of Sahih al-Bukhari. Shaykh Abü al-Hasan Nadwi said. author of the Badhl al-Majhüd. authorship. nor to anyone in the early stages of his teaching career: Nevertheless. and also logic. When he returned to India. Sunan alNasa'i the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad. Shaykh Zakariyyã travelled with his father to Mazãhir 'Ulum. He also taught Mishkãt al-Masabih until 1344 AH. There he taught Sunan Abi Dawud at Madrasa al-’Ulum al-Shar'iyya. a commentary on Imam Malik’s Muwatta. and was even mentioned by name in the commentary. hadith became the main focus of his life. But by the time he was seventeen. While in Madina. morphology. There.” In 1345 AH. The school’s principle taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari and after his death. Shaykh Zakariyyã acquired a hadith authorization from him and remained his student until Shaykh Khalil’s death in Madina Munawwara in 1346 AH. literature. attained the pleasure and trust of his shaykh. He stayed with his father in the company of Shaykh Gangohi until age eight.
He was often tested with regard to his sincerity. seeking Allah’s pleasure. and good character from his father (may Allah be pleased with him). Allah blessed him with five daughters and three sons from his first wife. and Sunan Abi Dawüd thirty times. He also taught for two hours before 'Asr. big and small. After performing Maghrib. he would read his morning supplications and litany until sunrise. For most of his teaching career. he would take a siesta and then spend some time listening to his correspondence (which amounted to around forty or fifty letters daily from different places) and dictating replies. who were from all walks of life. he would respect and treat them well. Sincere Love for Allah & the Prophet Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyyã inherited piety honesty. Shaykh Zakariyya never accepted any money for his services at Mazãhir 'Ulum. After Zuhr prayer. He then married the daughter of Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas Kandlawi in 1356 AH. He did not take an evening meal except to entertain an important guest. She passed away on Dhü ‘l-Hijja 5. He made the blessed journey with Shaykh KhalIl Ahmad in 1338 AH and with him again in 1344 AH. During this time he would also research and compile his literary works.. the work of hadith had become his passion. with few exceptions. he taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari twenty-five times. He first married the daughter of Shaykh Ra’uf al-Hasan in Kandhlã. His students have related that whenever the death of the Messenger (PBUH) was mentioned during a lecture on Sunan Abi Däwüd or Sahih alBukhari his eyes would swell up with tears. He did not just teach hadith as a matter of routine. 1355 AH. he did the work voluntarily. Personality . offering them tea.56 In all. After Fajr. and he would be overcome with crying. He aspired to follow the Qur’an and Sunna in all matters. when he was forced to give up teaching after developing eye cataracts. and he put his heart and soul into it. So evocative were his tears that his students could do nothing but weep with raised voices. Shaykh Zakariyyã taught until 1388 AH. When it was time for lunch he would come out and sit with his guests. no one was allowed to visit him at this time. He had extreme love for the Prophet and the blessed city of Madina. He was offered many teaching jobs at two or three time the salary that was customarily given at Mazähir 'Ulüm. Household Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyyã was married twice. He would rise an hour before dawn and occupy himself in tahajjud and recitation of Qur’an before performing the Fajr prayer in the masjid. both spiritually and educationally. and two daughters and one son from his second marriage. Thereafter he would go to meet with some people and drink tea (but never ate anything with it). Although he did accept a small salary at the beginning of his career. with a passion not found in many scholars. He would then return to his quarters to read. Daily Routine Shaykh Zakariyyã organized his time meticulously. and his multiple trips had a profound personal effect on him. After 'Asr he would sit with a large group of people. Travels to the Two Holy Cities Allah blessed him with the opportunity to visit the two holy cities of Makka and Madina. his voice would choke up. and. He performed hajj several times. he died shortly thereafter and was buried in the Baqi' graveyard in Madina. but he always graciously declined the offers. It was during the second trip that Shaykh Khalil completed Badhl al-Majhud. irrespective of who they were. May Allah have mercy on him and put light in his grave. he later totalled up the amount and paid it back in its entirety. he would remain devoted in solitude to optional prayer and to supplication. the complete Sahih al-Bukhäri sixteen times.
. the author of outstanding. UP. Dr. Indeed there are some remnants of the scholars of past generations living today among the scholars of today’s generation. His funeral procession was followed by a large number of people and he was buried in the Baqi’ graveyard next to his teacher Shaykh Khalil Alimad Saharanpüri. his personal qualities were always governed by his deep faith and sense of contentment. Shaykh Abü ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi relates that Shaykh ‘Alwai al-Maliki said. and elevate his status. we Mâlikis are astonished at the accuracy and integrity of the report. the head of Islamic studies at the University of Aligarh. smiling. to serve Islam. lighthearted. Among these scholars is a unique figure envied for his excellence in knowledge and action. Of the scholars of his era. Bangladesh. ‘Allãrna Mubammad Yusuf Binnóri relates.” Death He had always hoped to meet Allah while in the city of the Messenger Allah granted his wish.57 Shaykh Abü ‘l-Hasan Ali Nadwi says about his characteristics. Shaykh Sa’id Ahmad. since in his Awjaz he cites by-laws and derivatives of the Maliki school from their books that even we have a hard time obtaining. Amin. beneficial works and of beautiful. I know of no one comparable to him in this regard. They have been guided to praiseworthy efforts in multiple religious sciences. . relates. 1417 AH). friendly. It is evident to one who takes a look at his works that he had a brilliancy. He died there on Monday Sha'bãn . in the company of the Companions and the noble family members of the Messenger (PBUH) . May Allah forgive him. South Africa. such as jurisprudence. Many other scholars and students also acquired authorizations in hadith from him. cheerful. Some of his more prominent students in the field of hadith were Muhaddith Muhammad Yüsuf Kandhlawi (d. and he often jested with his close friends and acquaintances.. both Arab and non-Arab. I would not have known that he was Hanafi. never lazy. particularly establishing traditional Islamic schools in India. and Mufti Mahmüd Hasan Gangohi (d. and other countries. I4O AH (May 2. author of Imdad al-Bàri (Urdu commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari). Zimbabwe.. When he reports the ruling and evidences of the Mãliki school [in his writings]. We saw in him good character and forbearance with people. both in knowledge and with the pen. but would have definitely concluded that he was a Mãliki. Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda. they stir up memories of the blessed golden age of scholarship. and piety. like that of Ibn al-Jawzi and Imam Ghazãli. as well as a rare humility. author of Amani ‘l-Ahbar Sharh Ma’ani ‘l-Athãr.. including Dr. 1384 AH). “He was extremely vibrant. Muhammad Alawi al-MäIiki. they are on par with the previous generations in their knowledge. Canada. If the author had not mentioned in the introduction of [his] book that he was a Hanafi. England.. 1982 CE) and was buried in Jannat al-Baqi’. Pakistan. Students Shaykh Zakariyyã had numerous students who spread around the world and continue. Zambia. Shaykh Abd al-Jabbar Azami. excellence. Scholars’ Praise of Him Many scholars. and Shaykh Muhammad Tahã al-Barakãti. grant mercy. except Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Farangi Mahalli (of Lucknow). America. Muafã’ al-Sibãi. fear of Allah. and above all. superb commentaries: Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kãndhlawi Saharanpuri. to this day. have praised him and recognized his knowledge and excellence.
a collection of the unique remarks and observations on Sahih al-Bukhari presented by Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. He wrote four books on Qur’an commentary [tafsir] and proper recitation [tajwid]. his moderation. . four books on Islamic creed [aqida]. In it. and the rest have been written for the general public. research it thoroughly. This commentary written in Arabic. three books in Arabic grammar and logic. mentioning the differences of opinions among the various scholars. It is well known that the commentators of Sahih al-Bukhari have paid special attention to the titles therein. and hadith explication. forty-four books on hadith and its related sciences. and comparing their evidences. his books have gained overwhelming acceptance throughout the world. A number of them treat specialized subjects intended for scholars. Al-Abwab wa ‘l-Taràjim Ii ‘l-Bukhãri: An explanation of the chapter headings of Imam Bukhãri’s Sahih al-Bukhari. clear and comprehensive discussion. Assigning chapter headings in a hadith collection is a science in itself. Whoever wished to publish them was permitted to. known among the scholars as al-abwãb wa 'l-taräjim [chapters and explanations]. humility (as can be seen from the preface of this book). dealing with the various opinions on each issue. and Fada'il al-Salat [Virtues of Prayer] into fifteen languages. twenty-four historical and biographical books. so much so that his work Fada'il alQuran [Virtues of the Qur’an] has been translated into eleven languages. six books on jurisprudence [fiqh] and its related sciences. Shaykh Zakariyyã not only quotes and compiles what has been mentioned by other scholars like Shah WaIi Allah al-Dehlawi and Ibn Hajar aI-Asqalani. clarifying the text and adding a comprehensive introduction at the beginning. intellectual. and scholarly way.. even when he disagrees with their opinions on any particular aspect. the compiler explains the reasons for the chapter heading and the connections between the chapter headings and the hadiths quoted therein. Shaykh Zakariyya edited. These life-long acquired wisdoms were recorded by his student Shaykh Yahyã Kãndhlawi (Shaykh Zakariyyã’s father) during their lessons. His first written work was a three-volume commentary of the Alfiyya Ibn Malik (on Arabic grammar). jurisprudence. Here is a brief description of a few of his more popular works on hadith: Awjazal-Masalik ila-Muwatta’Imäm Malik: One of the most comprehensive commentaries on the Muwatta of Imam Mãlik in terms of the science of hadith. arranged. Lami' al-Dirari 'ala Jami' al-Bukhari: Written in Arabic. Hence. his ability to understand the issue at hand.58 Written Works Shaykh Zakariyyã wrote many works both in Arabic and Urdu. which he wrote as a student when he was only thirteen. but also correlates and clarifies these opinions and presents findings from his own research in many instances. His respect and awe for the pious predecessors are evident in his works. and present a complete. twelve books on abstinence [zuhd] and heart-softening accounts [riqaq]. and attention to detail. and six books on modern. His written works amount to over one hundred. has won great acclaim from a number of MãIiki scholars. Shaykh Zakariyya provides the summaries of many other commentaries in a clear. Some of His Hadith Works One can find a complete list and description of his books in the various biographies written on him. His works demonstrate his deep knowledge and intelligence. patience. in tune with the Arabic saying: “The fiqh of Bukhäri is in his chapter headings” [fiqh al-Bukhari fi tarajimihi]. He did not withhold any rights to his works and made it publicly known that he only published his works for the sake of Allah’s pleasure. Fada’il Ramadan [Virtues of Ramadan] into twelve languages. and commented on his father’s compilation. on the condition that they were left unaltered and their accuracy maintained.day groups and movements.
1 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Salat (Book 2). Khasa'il Nabawi Sharh Shama’il al-Tirmidhi: Composed in Urdu. a commentary on Imam Tirmidhi’s renowned work Al-Shamã’il al-Muhammadjya. Hadith 2027 . Kitabul Salat (Book 4) Hadith 888. Kitabul Salat (Book 22). Kitabul Sawm (Book 6). Hadith 2381 8 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Salat (Book 4). and other details of the places the Messenger of Allah passed by or stayed at.17) 3 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Salat (Book 2). It includes the details of any juridical discussions on the various aspects of pilgrimage. Kitabul Salat (Book 2). Hadith 512 6 Sunan Abu Dawud.Wida' wa Umrat al-Nabi : A comprehensive Arabic commentary on the detailed accounts of the pilgrimage [hajj] of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Hadith numbering is according to what is in vogue on internet. Kitabul Sawm (Book 6). Hadith 636 5 Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadith 2477 9 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 2474 11 Sunan Nisai. Hadith 2286-2288 12 Sahih Muslim. Kibaul Siyam (Book 13). modern-day names. Hadith 514 7 Sunan Abu Dawud.59 Juz’ Hajjat al. Muslim.. Kitabul Sawm (Book 31). Abu Dawud. 2 Muwatta Malik. Hadith 1374 4 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul Salat al-Layl (Book 7) Hadith 266 (Book 7 : Hadith 7.e. giving the locations. Bukhari. Kitabul Salat (Book 11). Hadith 164 10 Sahih Muslim. This commentary explains the various aspects related to the different characteristics and practices of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).3. [Adapted from the Arabic biography on Shaykh Zakariyya Kãndhlawi by Wali‘1-Din Nadwi] REFERENCES: For the books of Hadith available on internet i. It has been translated into English and is widely available. Muwatta and Tirmidhi. a collection of hadiths detailing the characteristics of the Messenger (PBUH).
Kitabul Fadhail al-Quran (Book 61). Hadith 638 31 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 3006 19 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul al-Buyu (Book 10). Kitabul Nikah (Book 8). Ta’wil mukhtalaf al-hadith. Hadith 3754 27 Jami' Tirmidhi. 1/156 29 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Buyu (Book 10). Majma' al-Zawa'id wa Manba' al-Fawa'id.. Kitabul Nikah (Book 8). Hadith 3742 24 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 818 20 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul Hajj (Book 26). Hadith 572 . Kitabul Nikah (Book 8). Kitabul Jana'iz (Book 20). Kitabul Jana'iz (Book 23). Hadith 207 etc. Hadith 295 33 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 3429 (Sayyida Umm Salma and other wives of Holy Prophet (pbuh) took it as special case) 16 Ibn Qutayba al-Dainwari. Hadith 1902 14 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul At'ima (Book 28). Hadith 398 22 Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadith 3171 23 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Hadith 537 26 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 3726 25 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 659 21 Sahih Bukhari.1 p. Kitabul Salat (Book 4). Kitabul Salat (Book 2). Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Kitabul Hajj (Book 7). vol. 30 Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadith 759 32 Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadith 1855 28 Imam Haithmi. Kitabul Manasik al-Hajj (Book 10). Kitabul al-Buyu (Book 10). Kitabul Hajj (Book 26). Kitabul Salat (Book 12).60 13 Sahih Muslim. bab zikr al-ashaab al-kalaam wa ashaab 17 Sunan Abu Dawud.11. Kitabul Mudhari' (Book 39). Hadith 3427 (that Sayyida 'A'isha thought it general ) Sahih Muslim. Hadith 3424 15 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 1766 18 Sahih Muslim.
Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Kitabul Talaq (Book 9). Kitabul Salat (Book 12). Kitabul Manaqib (Book 57). Hadith 3834 43 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Maghazi (Book 59). Kitabul Sawm (Book 31). Hadith 649 52 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul Hudood (Book 81). Hadith 107 42 Jami' Tirmidhi.61 34 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 196 35 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 353 44 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Manaqib (Book 52). Hadith 608 53 Jami' Tirmidhi. Hadith 3524 50 Sunan Abu Dawud. Kitabul Ashriba (Book 26). Hadith 325 39 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 490 49 Sahih Muslim. Hadith 192 46 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Kitabul Sawm (Book 6). Hadith 3108 51 Sahih Bukhari. Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Hadith 2451 48 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 445 40 Mu'jam al-Tabarani al-Kabeer 6/213. Hadith 4 47 Sahih Muslim. Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Kitabul Jana'iz (Book 20). . Hadith 2592 36 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 6372 41 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 194 45 Sunan Abu Dawud. Hadith 773 37 Sunan Abu Dawud.. Sutra al-Musalla (Book 9). Kitabul Tib (Book 71). Kitabul Umra (Book 27). Kitabul Taharah (Book 1). Hadith 79 54 Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 3672 38 Sunan Nisai. Kitabul Sawm (Book 6). Kitabul Tib (Book 71). Hadith 723 .
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